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Pension reform vote overdue in Illinois House

Swimmer Ryan Lochte models Olympics uniform designed by Ralph Lauren made China.  |  AP

Swimmer Ryan Lochte models the Olympics uniform designed by Ralph Lauren and made in China. | AP

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Updated: August 23, 2012 10:41AM

It’s time for the House to vote on HB1447, the pension reform bill passed by the Senate that reduces benefits to politicians; prevents future pension abuse, and protects the investment of retired state employees. Action on this bill will save taxpayers an estimated $31 billion over the coming decades.

For too long, legislators from both sides of the aisle avoided making tough decisions regarding Illinois’ pension obligations and allowed the state’s pension liability to balloon to unsustainable levels.

The interest payment on this massive pension liability drains billions of dollars from the state’s budget, which takes resources from vital programs. The pension liability puts the state’s credit rating at risk, lowering the state’s bond rating and hamstringing our ability to attract outside investment.

In Illinois, our chickens have come home to roost. Springfield can no longer postpone the tough decision that it has been avoiding for years. The time for pension funding reform is now. HB 1447, passed by the Senate, is another crucial step toward reducing Illinois’ pension obligation, but the House has not called the bill for a vote.

Speaker Madigan, we cannot afford to wait. The House needs to act now. Call the bill, Mr. Speaker. Call the bill.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski

Make Olympics uniforms here at home

All of the uniforms the U.S. athletes will wear in the Olympics are were made in China — including the shoes. What about putting our American people to work?

It made me want to cry.

LaVerne Mitchell, Worth

Not made in the U.S.A.

What a shame that the United States has our Olympic outfits made in China instead of the U.S.A. We have so many factories here that could make them. Shame, shame on the person or committee who selected these outfits. The men’s and women’s navy blazers, white pants and skirts are by Ralph Lauren.

Berets — are we French? I thought we were Americans, representing America. What’s next: the U.S. flag? Oh, most are now made in China.

Steven L. Kispetik, Portage Park

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