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posted: 11/10/2012 5:00 AM

Pension reform must happen soon

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With the election behind us, I want to take a minute to both say thank you and to set a very clear tone for what our direction should be in Springfield moving forward.

First, I must express my deepest appreciation to the voters in the 57th House District. You looked past an intensely negative campaign and harsh attacks and decided I was best positioned to keep up the fight for doing what is right at the state Capitol. Thank you for putting your trust in me. And thank you to so many people who helped me make the case this summer and fall.

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This is not a time to breathe a sigh of relief. No, the toughest work is ahead of us. It starts with pension reform.

We have struggled with this issue for far, far too long. We know we must deal with the massive debt that is preventing our state from getting its fiscal house in order. We cannot look the other way and hope someone else does the difficult work for us.

When we return to work in Springfield later this month, the pressure will be intense to again push serious reform down the road. We must not let that happen. After a divisive campaign season, Republicans and Democrats need to come together as Illinoisans to deal with what is unquestionably the most important issue facing our state.

Voters put faith in us to fix the problem on Tuesday. It's time to sit down, put real solutions on the table and come up with an agreement that will both ensure our workers' retirement plans are secure and put our state on better fiscal footing. No more excuses.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz

Northbrook

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