A Republican candidate for governor has a simple solution to the state’s public pension problem. State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), who has spent the last two days launching his campaign, says the problem would be solved merely by having a Republican governor.
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“Speaker Madigan would have let a Republican governor do the pension changes, and he probably would have blamed the Republican governor. You need a two-party system to get things done, so the biggest thing would have been just put a Republican governor who knows what they’re doing in that seat and pension reform would have been done by now,” he said.
Dillard did not specify which pension reform the speaker would have allowed a Republican governor to do; the speaker has a pension reform bill that has failed twice in the Senate which is considered more aggressive than a Senate version.
Dillard also likens the Metra scandal, with politicians asking the executive director to hire certain individuals or give raises, to the admissions scandal at the University of Illinois, in which lawmakers made phone calls on behalf of constituents. He says the lawmakers should have learned from that scandal that their requests are taken as political orders by those who run quasi-independent agencies that still have to go to Springfield and ask for money, whether it’s a state university or a public transportation agency.
Dillard, who lives in Hinsdale, where a lot of people ride the train, also complained about operation issues on Metra. The Metra line that goes through Dillard’s town is run by a private company, contracted by Metra.