News

Another Night, Another Debate for Republican Four

Another Night, Another Debate for Republican Four

Photo: Associated Press

The Republican candidates for governor were at each other’s throats Wednesday night in their third television debate in a week.

State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) voted for pension reform last year, and he went back decades, when Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) was chief of staff for Gov. Jim Edgar, to criticize Dillard’s “no” vote.

“Your first two years as chief of staff, you borrowed, under-funded, $1 billion. You are why we have the problem we have today, $100 billion in unfunded liability,” Brady said. “What do you say to that?”

What Dillard said was that by 1994, Edgar was the first governor to recognize a problem, and Dillard was instrumental in passing a law in 1995 that was supposed to produce reform.

Brady had to defend himself for voting for last year’s effort; he said the three other candidates on the stage at WGN-TV are the only people he knows who opposed it.

Brady and Bruce Rauner accused Dillard of “selling out” to unions by voting against the pension bill, resulting in Dillard getting endorsements and campaign contributions from various unions whose members are affected, including teachers and state workers.

Dillard said he opposed the bill mainly because it didn’t specify where the savings, estimated at $1.3 billion per year, would go.

Rauner said he wants to allow state workers and teachers to keep the pensions for which they’ve worked so far, but move them into a 401(k)-style plan for any future work.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said he believes the pension reform law is unconstitutional. He said if he’s elected, he’ll meet with the interested parties to work out something that includes a voluntary change in exchange for something of value – “consideration and acceptance.”

Wednesday’s debate was the penultimate debate of the primary campaign. The final debate will be March 13 on WTTW-TV in Chicago. The Republican candidates for lieutenant governor are scheduled to debate there tonight.

 

Recent Headlines

in Local

DeWitt Co. Settlement OK’d in Dispute to Put Toxic Waste Over Aquifer

water

DeWitt county has approved a settlement with a landfill company.

in Local

Kankakee Co. Sheriff Describes Security Lapses that led to Inmate Escape

inmate_exiting_kamron_taylor

Sheriff Tim Bukowski says investigators found no inmate count had been done.

in Local

House Approves Springfield High Speed Rail Oversight Act

high speed rail

An attempt to make sure fair hiring practices are implemented on Springfield's high speed rail 10th street consolidation project is moving forward.

in Local

Rauner Admin. Plans $106 Million in Medicaid Cuts

medicaid

Cuts to Medicaid will make up about one-third of the $300 million in spending reductions by Gov. Bruce Rauner's office

in Local

Butler: Future of $26M in Social Service Funding Unknown

Budget Cuts

State Representative Tim Butler says who knows if that $26 million Governor Bruce Rauner is holding from a number of state social service programs will be restored or not.