SPRINGFIELD, IL – After gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner outright rejected the pension reform proposal and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said the bill wouldn't pass Constitutional muster, Republican candidate for governor State Senator Kirk Dillard had a third response: hearings with expert testimony before any vote is taken on pension reform.
Dillard said President Obama's Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was hastily passed by Congress before all of the details were known. "As we learned the hard way when then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ram-rodded Obamacare through Congress by telling us that 'we need to pass the bill in order to find out what's in it,' we must not rush a vote on pension reform."
"Addressing pension reform is an essential first step in working our way out of a deep fiscal hole," Dillard said. "But we must know what's in bill and not rush a vote merely because we've been assured by the leaders and Governor Quinn that this is the best deal for the people of Illinois."
Dillard proposed a solution he thinks the legislative leaders should consider: the Senate should meet as a committee of the whole and hear from expert witnesses who can explain the details of the bill.
"I think the people of Illinois deserve a full and transparent discussion of the proposed pension reforms and a line-by-line review of the legislative language that will come before us," Dillard said. "We need a committee of the whole in the Senate in order to analyze the bill, hear from actuarial and legal experts and to assure that each and every member of the General Assembly votes with his or her eyes open."
Dillard also argued the bill is too complex and the issue too important to be voted on merely on the recommendation of legislative leaders. "Any effort by the leadership of the General Assembly to pass critically needed pension reform on the basis of 'trust me' would be in keeping with many years of back rooms deals ratified by dead of night votes," Dillard said.