The new general assembly is all sworn in and ready to get to work. Leaders on both sides of the aisle say pension reform is the biggest issue on the table. State Senator Sam McCann agrees, noting the financial mess the state is in has not gone away over the past two years following a tax increase in the final hours of the lame duck session in 2011.
The Carlinville Republican says the challenges this General Assembly will face are many.
The state currently has a 96-billion dollar unfunded pension liability, which increases by about 17-million dollars each day lawmakers fail to reach a deal. Governor Quinn has been advocating for a fix for over a year but lawmakers have failed to find a solution they can agree on. McCann says further tax increases are not the answer, but rather growing jobs to increase the tax base.