"Bold steps are needed to tackle the growing state budget
problem and the estimated $83 billion unfunded pension
liability," said Philip Nelson, president of the Illinois Farm
Bureau. "The ever-increasing cost of providing necessary care to
Illinois residents through Medicaid needs to be addressed. We
credit the governor for putting forward a plan to do that."
The governor has also stepped forward to call for the
Legislature to tackle the state's unfunded pension liabilities.
"It is not easy for someone to take on the pension system,
and we commend the governor for doing that," Nelson said. "If
the state's pension liability is not addressed, it will further
draw the state's budget into a bigger hole. This will lead to a
continuation of a business climate in Illinois that is not
attractive for businesses to locate or expand here."
Legislative leadership on these issues also cannot be
ignored. Leaders in all caucuses have been working diligently to
craft reform packages. The Illinois Farm Bureau recognizes that
leadership and encourages legislative leaders and the governor
to continue their work to address the Medicaid and pension
Illinois Farm Bureau members have had a long-standing belief,
expressed in the organization's polices set by the members
through a democratic process, that Medicaid eligibility
requirements for Illinois residents should be established in a
fair and equitable manner.
"Calling upon the members of the General Assembly to review
the current system and bring about reform is necessary for
carrying out the beliefs of our members," Nelson said.
Also contained in the organization's polices is a belief that
the state needs to bring about vital and long-lasting reform of
the state's pension systems to turn around Illinois' fiscal
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"The fiscal crisis in the state of Illinois casts a huge cloud over
the state and its economy," Nelson said. "Once pension reforms are
approved and implemented, Illinois' economy should strengthen and
Nelson added that fixing both the Medicaid and state pension
systems is necessary and commendable.
"We realize this will not be an easy task, but we encourage Gov.
Quinn and the members of the Illinois General Assembly to accomplish
this goal in the next several weeks," Nelson said. "We must all
stand up and let our state elected officials know that we support
their efforts to bring about this critical reform."
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau
Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded
in 1916, IFB is a nonprofit membership organization controlled by
farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total
membership of more than 420,500, a voting membership of 82,973 and
represents 2 out of 3 Illinois farmers.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Bureau]