Government
6:05 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Treasurer talks pensions at DeKalb roundtable

The Illinois State Treasurer says lawmakers need to make some progress toward fixing the state’s budget woes, or he says the crisis will get worse. Republican Dan Rutherford was in DeKalb Tuesday to host a roundtable discussion about the state’s finances. He says he doesn’t expect much progress before the November election, although the state’s bond rating is suffering:

" There's probably no one in the General Assembly that gives a toot if the bond rating gets lowered because it doesn't affect their moment in time and space." - Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford    

Republican State Senator Christine Johnson of DeKalb says she is one of those lawmakers who understands the importance of the bond rating, and she wants pension reforms that keep state workers in mind:

"What's most important is that they are treated fairly.  Any pension reform that we do, and there's no mistake it needs to be done, that it's constitutional and it absolutely has to be affordable for our state." - Senator Christine Johnson

Rutherford says the state needs to switch from a defined benefits pension plan to a defined contribution plan. Johnson says it needs to be a combination of the two to be fair to employees and save money for the state.