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Lemont legislators help pass state pension reform bill

LEMONT – The support of Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin played a key role in the passing of a pension reform bill through the Illinois General Assembly on Dec. 3.

The bill, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Dec. 5, was written to guarantee full funding of the state's pension systems by 2044 by cutting $160 billion.

The bill passed 30 to 24 in the Senate and 62 to 53 in the House.

According to public documents, Radogno was one of 10 Senate Republicans to vote for the bill. Durkin was one of 15 House Republicans to vote for it.

Radogno called the legislation "the first major step forward in putting Illinois on the path to financial recovery."

“This is a good bill that will achieve real savings for the taxpayers, better protect the pensions of lower-paid, longer-serving public employees and stabilize state finances,” Radogno said in a news release. “This legislation is fair for both taxpayers and the workers who count on the pension systems.”

Radogno and Durkin both said lawmakers have more work to do to fully address Illinois' fiscal issues.

"We must continue to demonstrate fiscal discipline over the next several years to control spending and pay down our bills if we ever hope to allow the ‘temporary’ tax to expire and to bring jobs back to Illinois," Durkin said in a news release.

Radogno said lawmakers should turn their focus toward pension reform for local governments.

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