The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

August 2, 2013

Smiddy visits Albany to talk pension reform

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — ALBANY, Ill. — Illinois State Legislature Mike Smiddy visited with Albany residents Wednesday to discuss pension reform in the state of Illinois and to answer questions.

“We’re needing to get this resolved because it is holding up a lot of things in our state...we need to stop kicking the can down the road and make sure that we get a solution,” Smiddy said

Pension reform has been a hot topic this week after Illinois House and Senate leaders filed a lawsuit against Governor Pat Quinn for blocking pay to lawmakers because of the state’s inaction on the $100 billion pension dilemma, officials say.

Mark Archibald, an attendee at Wednesday’s meeting, asked Congressman Smiddy what his thoughts were on the lawsuit and if he thought it would benefit the cause.

“It’s something that is in Leadership’s hands to do,” Smiddy said. “I wish we wouldn’t have had to do that because I think it’s taking the priority off of what’s important here, and that’s trying to fix the pension issue in Illinois.”

Archibald followed up the question, putting the spotlight on Smiddy, by asking if he were put in the position would he refuse his next paycheck, in solidarity, to be sure that the work continued and a resolution be met.

Smiddy answered by saying that the Govenor is playing political games by withholding paychecks and that he did not agree with the “grandstanding” surrounding this issue.

“I don’t want to do political stunts saying that I’m going to do this or I’m going to do that because I think it takes away from the real issue of pension reform,” Smiddy said.