2008 was a devastating year for financial institutions and personal investments throughout the world, and the Illinois pension systems are no exception. Corruption associated with the state’s five pension systems only compounded the overwhelming financial issues.

The impeachment and subsequent conviction of Governor Rod Blagojevich in January, as well as the federal government’s ongoing investigation of “pay to play” politics – better known as Operation Board Games – have brought Illinois’ pension systems into the headlines, but this is an issue that my Senate Republican colleagues and I have been fighting for more than four years. Despite widespread public and media approval, these important reforms have yet to be approved as the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate have been playing political “ping pong” with them.

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