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Editorial Reaction to Pension Reform Law

(Posted December 8th 2013 @ 6:55 PM )

Editorial Reaction to Pension Reform Law

Bill Brady was one of 25 Republican lawmakers and the only Republican candidate for Governor who supported the reforms, which are designed to save $160 billion of taxpayer money over 30 years and protect the long-term viability of the state's public retirement systems.

This is what some editorial writers, columnists and commentators throughout Illinois said about the importance of the pension reform package.

Quincy Herald-Whig, December 8, 2013:
“Admittedly, this may not be what the thousands of employees who met their pension obligations while the state failed to meet its wanted to see happen, but the alternative would have been much worse -- a bankrupt pension system. The legislative leaders understood state workers faced bigger risks if the plans became insolvent.   That's why Tuesday's bipartisan vote, as difficult as it was, will be remembered as one of the biggest legislative achievements in decades.”
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Champaign News-Gazette, December 8, 2013:
 
“Of the GOP gubernatorial candidates, only state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, striking a Churchillian pose as a leader willing to make tough decisions, supported the pension bill.”
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Bloomington Pantagraph, December 8, 2013:
 
“In the Central Illinois region, the only public official brave enough to vote for pension reform was Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.   Taxpayers should thank him for his courageous stand.” 
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Carol Marin, Chicago Tonight, December 3, 2013:
“Brady stood up early, clearly and with a certain level of decision-making on this which separated him from the other three…” 
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Chicago Tribune, December 4, 2013:

“It took courage for many of those lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, to vote for pension reform in the face of a massive effort by organized labor to crush the measure and dire warnings from some conservatives that it was a big fraud.  Those votes took courage.”
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Decatur Herald and Review, December 8, 2013:
“The bill approved Tuesday gives Illinois a chance, with a lot of work still to be done, to pull itself out of its current spiral. Unfortunately, too many of our elected officials failed to recognize the opportunity to take that step.  At the same time, we congratulate the 92 elected officials, including Sen. Bill Brady, who had the courage to do what was necessary.”
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Greg Hinz, Crains Chicago Business columnist, December 9, 2013:
Sen. Bill Brady, a conservative by anyone's definition, voted for the bill. Good for him. But Dan Rutherford and Kirk Dillard parroted the union line, arguing that the measure was unconstitutional and the Legislature couldn't do anything except hike taxes or go bankrupt without a negotiated deal with labor. Good grief.
At the opposite end of the twilight zone was Bruce Rauner...
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Carol Marin, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, December 8, 2013
 It's the decisions "where you really have to struggle that, as Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno put it so well, separate the leaders from the posers."
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Thom Serafin, Fox Chicago commentary, December 4, 2013
“Pat Quinn, big winner and puts himself in strong position for 2014 for reelection.  Senator Bill Brady, his opponent in the last general election, supporting the governor, the two of them working together in the Illinois Senate to move this legislation through.  The other three opponents that he has in the Republican primary went the other direction .... Here was Senator Bill Brady, the conservative, voting with the governor.  Those were the two strong winners.”
View Thom's commentary...

The Southern Illinoisan, December 8, 2013:
“The pension reform passage was an important step, though imperfect and hardly pain-free. But it does ensure state employees will have pension systems in the future, systems that are guaranteed to grow. It all depends on our lawmakers honoring their commitments to the new law. It can be done. It must be done.”
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Rockford Register-Star, December 3, 2013:
“Doing nothing was not an option. The status quo would see Illinois' pension liability grow to an even more embarrassing level. The pension reform vote taken Tuesday was difficult, but necessary.”
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