I have partnered with Representative Daniel Biss, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and The Alzheimer’s Association to hold an event on September 5, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 Noon at the Glenview Senior Center. This will provide an opportunity to discuss normal memory changes as well as the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This will be an engaging discussion as well as provide resources for those affected, from patients to family members and caregivers. Please contact my office with any questions. I hope to see you there!
The special session called for last Friday, August 17, was disappointing, to say the least. I say that despite the fact that, going in, I didn’t really think we would accomplish anything.
The Governor called a special session to address the pension issue. The House was already scheduled to be in session that day to take action on the expulsion of Derrick Smith from the House. Mr. Smith has been charged with accepting a bribe. We took that action and he has been removed from office.
There was a lot of political theater surrounding any potential vote on pension stabilization legislation, but the reality was that nothing had really changed since the end of session last May, and so the votes were not there to do comprehensive pension reform. I have voted consistently to try to address this fiscal problem – for bills that have been sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats. But I am in a distinct minority in my willingness to publicly and visibly support these bills.
I believe, however, that the issue will be addressed…simply because it must. It is unfair to fail to keep promises we’ve made, but the fact is that the pension payment is anticipated to increase around $2 billion between last year and this year. And there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. That growth is unsustainable in a General Revenue Budget that amounts to just under $34 billion.
So I am ready to dig in and keep working toward an affordable and sustainable solution to this crisis.
Also know that I rejected my travel and housing allowances for the special session. It didn’t seem right to accept that when it was pretty clear that nothing would be accomplished on pensions.
I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day holiday weekend!