concom0703As a member of the pension conference committee, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a brief update. There are two topics that I would like to address: the timing of our work and recent news reports about items under consideration by the committee.

Regarding timing, I know that many people are frustrated that the committee has not yet completed its work and are anxiously awaiting our official proposal. Please know that I share this frustration: Hundreds of thousands of people rely on these pension systems to provide them with a secure retirement, and they deserve clarity and resolution as soon as possible. This problem weighs heavily on our state's fiscal condition and reputation, and we will all be better off when it is appropriately resolved.

This process has been lengthy, partly due to the difficult and contentious nature of the issue -- even as we hone in on a recommendation, conference committee members are hashing out every aspect of the topic carefully, and many components require significant compromise from all participants. Perhaps even more importantly, we are taking very seriously the need for a robust, credible actuarial evaluation of our final product. Consequently, we are requesting very thorough -- and, yes, time-consuming -- studies of our ideas.

These facts notwithstanding, the problem still stands before us and demands a resolution as soon as possible. I am completely committed to achieving this, and I am hopeful that I will be back in touch before too long to discuss our proposal.

This brings me to my second topic: a leaked media report about some of the committee's deliberations. On Friday, August 23, several news outlets published a list of items under consideration by our committee. These items included:

  • A decrease in employee contributions by 1%;
  • Replacing the current 3% automatic annual increase with a cost of living adjustment of one-half the consumer price index, potentially with floors and caps;
  • Staggered delays to cost-of-living adjustments;
  • Fully funding the pension plans over 30 years;
  • Dedicating the pension funds money that is currently being used to make bond payments, beginning in Fiscal Year 2019;
  • Switching to the Entry Age Normal actuarial cost method; and
  • Changing interest rates used to calculate the money purchase option formula.

 

These ideas are in fact all under discussion by the conference committee, but nothing has been finalized yet and our conversations remain in a state of flux. That means that this is an ideal moment for you to share your feedback on these items as well as any other thoughts you have on the pension issue. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call my office at (847) 568-1250. I look forward to hearing your thoughts as we hopefully enter the late stages of our deliberations, and I very much hope that we will be able to reach a compromise that, while painful, will be manageable for all stakeholders and will put our pension systems on a clear path to stability.

Category: Latest

Greetings!

First, I want to thank everyone who came out to our pension forum last month; I appreciate how difficult this process has been for many of you, and I am grateful for and reliant on your consistent and constructive input.

I am also writing to invite you to the second of our six forums as part of our Critical Issues Series. Our topic for August is Safety, Freedom, and the Status of Gun Laws in Illinois. We'll discuss the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, the new law that allows individuals to obtain a permit to carry concealed firearms in public.

Event details

  • What: Safety, Freedom, and the Status of Gun Laws in Illinois
  • When: 3 p.m. Aug. 11
  • Where: The Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston
  • Panelists: Kwame Raoul, State Senator, 13th District; Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence; Marjorie Fujara, attending physician in the Division of Child Protective Services, Department of Pediatrics at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

 

We're fortunate to be joined by such a distinguished panel. Kwame played a lead role in negotiating this issue in Springfield, Colleen is an influential and savvy advocate, and Marjorie is a health care provider and a terrific grassroots activist. Between the three of them, we'll learn a great deal about how exactly we've arrived at this point on this difficult and emotional issue, and we can have a thorough conversation about where to go from here. I hope you can join us!

Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think might be interested and call my office if you have any questions! The dates and topics for the rest of the series can be found here.

Best,
Daniel

Category: Latest

heatwaveA heat advisory remains in effect for our area until the evening of Friday, July 19th. Please use the municipal resources below to find information on cooling centers and tips for staying safe. Please remember check on neighbors and relatives, and call our office if we can be of assistance!

Stay safe!

Daniel

Category: Latest

SKOKIE — On Sunday, State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) will host the first of six monthly discussions in his 2013 Critical Issues Series. Last year's series met with strong interest from the public.

  • WHO: Senator Daniel Biss
  • WHAT: Update on Pensions and Fiscal Stabilization
  • WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, July 14
  • WHERE: The Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston

The schedule for the remaining discussions in the Critical Issues Series is as follows. All events will be held at 3 p.m. at The Levy Center.

  • Aug. 11: Safety, Freedom and the Status of Gun Laws in Illinois
  • Sept. 15: Exploring Criminal Justice in Illinois
  • Oct. 13: The Affordable Care Act and Upcoming Health Care Transition
  • Nov. 10: Transportation Policy for a 21st Century Global Hub
  • Dec. 15: Addressing the Looming Retirement Crisis
Category: Latest

Contact Me

District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
417B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

Email:
biss@senatedem.illinois.gov

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