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posted: 12/23/2013 5:00 AM

Pension vote only a 'first step'

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I commend the members of the Illinois General Assembly for their recent efforts to begin to fix our state's pension liability. That said, we still have a long way to go to get our fiscal house in order and restore the confidence manufacturers need to expand and/or locate in the Land of Lincoln.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the official unfunded pension liability is $100 billion. The bill that passed and was signed by the governor would -- at best -- reduce the unfunded liability to $80 billion. It only scratches the surface and dials back the crisis to 2011 levels.

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It's universally accepted that this legislation does not represent a solution to Illinois' pension crisis. Several legislators who voted for the bill have said as much, and have defended their vote by saying, "This is not a solution; it is a first step." A "first step" necessarily means there is a second step.

My colleagues in the manufacturing sector will be watching closely to see if there is a second step. Will Illinois find its fiscal footing or will we continue to stumble?

Brian P. McGuire

Park Ridge

President

Technology & Manufacturing Association of Illinois

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