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May 23, 2012

Employers Support Governor Quinn’s Plan to Rescue Public Pension and Medicaid Systems

SPRINGFIELD – May 23, 2012. With just eight days left in the spring legislative session, Governor Pat Quinn today announced a surge of support from businesses and economic development groups across Illinois for his plans to rescue the state pension and Medicaid systems. Recognizing the positive impact the Governor’s plans will have on small and large employers, businesses throughout the state urged lawmakers to pass major pension and Medicaid stabilization reforms this spring session. More than 60 businesses and economic development groups have backed the Governor’s proposals.

“The Chicagoland Chamber strongly supports Governor Quinn’s plans to stabilize and strengthen our Medicaid and pension systems. One of the most important things to the business community is a strong, stable business climate, which provides employers with the certainty they need to invest more, grow more and create more jobs. By addressing these two major issues, our elected leaders can pave the way for more economic growth in Illinois,” Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jerry Roper said. “The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce stands with Governor Quinn in urging the General Assembly to make the tough decisions – and take the tough votes- to address these challenges this spring session.”

Fast-growing public pensions and Medicaid currently take up 39% of state general revenue spending, and will grow to 50% next year without major reforms. Inaction by lawmakers this spring to fundamentally reform both systems could also severely limit the state’s ability to fund core services like education and public safety, threaten the state’s credit rating and hurt the long-term sustainability of both systems. On Monday, Medicaid restructuring legislation was filed to reform Illinois’ Medicaid system.

“Putting Illinois on the path to fiscal stability will be good for our employers and good for jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “If we want small and large businesses to continue to grow in Illinois, we must give them the certainty they need to invest and create jobs.”

Governor Quinn recently proposed a plan to fundamentally restructure the Medicaid system and save it from collapse by creating $2.7 billion in savings. The Governor’s Medicaid plan cuts waste, fraud and abuse, and raises the price of cigarettes to bring back dollar for dollar federal matching funds and help make people healthier. The Governor also recently proposed a bold plan to stabilize the pension system, which is expected to save taxpayers $65 to $85 billion, eliminate the unfunded liability and allow public employees who have faithfully contributed to the system to continue to receive pension benefits.

“Mitsubishi Motors North America, along with the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and others, support Governor Quinn's call to action to reform Illinois' pension laws and review Medicaid policy in what remains of this legislative session. These actions are necessary to improve the business climate of our state by improving Illinois’ financial health and by building a platform for sustainable economic growth,” Mitsubishi Motors North America Chief Operating Officer Jerry Berwanger said.

“The budget deficit is the single most important issue facing the state. Illinois needs to address its state pension and Medicaid issues quickly. If the rating agencies downgrade the state’s debt, it could cost the taxpayers millions of dollars, and would risk making Illinois less attractive to businesses. We encourage our state’s elected officials to come together and work with Governor Quinn to fix this problem yet this month,” Navistar Chairman, President and CEO Dan Ustian said.

Supporter List
The Governor’s framework for Medicaid and pension reform has been backed by more than 60 individual businesses and economic development groups around the state, including those listed below.

American Council of Engineering Companies of IL Associated General Contractors of Illinois
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Bison Gear
Bley LLC Cable Television & Communications Association of IL
Canton Area Chamber of Commerce CBOE Holdings
CenterPoint Properties Chicago Heights Business Council
Chicago Roofing Contractors Association Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)
Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce U.S.A CSX Transportation
Ely Consulting Exelon
Ford Motor Company Funk Linko, Inc.
General Electric Hispanic American Construction Industry Association
Honeywell Horizon Therapeutics, Inc.
Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers
Illinois Beef Association Illinois Business Roundtable
Illinois Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association Illinois Coal Association
Illinois Farm Bureau Illinois Pork Producers Association
Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC)
Illinois Technology Association Illinois Technology Partnership
Invenergy Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce
Knight Hawk Coal Company Lafarge
McLean County Chamber of Commerce Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC)
Mitsubishi Motors North America Motorola Mobility
Navistar New Generation Power
New World Ventures Outdoor Amusement Business Association
Prairie Material Prairie State Energy Campus
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce
Rapps Engineering Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Solar Service Inc.
Suburban Minorities Contractors Association Tate & Lyle
TechAmerica Union Pacific
Wanxiang America Corporation Will County Center for Economic Development
Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)

This support builds on the recent endorsement from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for the Governor’s pension reform proposal, which also included support from many local chambers of commerce, also listed below.

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce
Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Manito Chamber of Commerce
Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce
GOA Regional Business Association Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Rockford Chamber of Commerce
Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce
Jersey County Business Association Washington Chamber of Commerce
Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce  

For more information about Governor Quinn’s reform proposals to save Illinois’ Medicaid and pension systems and restore stability to the state budget, please visit SaveOurState.illinois.gov.


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