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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Forby speaks to retirees about pension reform

  • State Senator Gary Forby met with retired members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Monday afternoon to discuss pension reform, among other legislation and relevant issues.
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  • State Senator Gary Forby met with retired members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Monday afternoon to discuss pension reform, among other legislation and relevant issues.
    "You guys worked for your pension, you deserve it," Forby said.
    Though Forby thinks the state budget will have to be stabilized somehow, he made it clear he won't vote in favor of legislation that affects the pensions of retirees'.
    Still in campaign mode, Forby briefly referred to the views of his Republican opponent Mark Minor on the issue.
    "He thinks your pensions need to be cut and he thinks Illinois needs to be a right-to-work state," Forby said of Minor.
    A "right-to-work state" generally refers to states that prohibit union security agreements. Illinois is currently a collective-bargaining state in which the state works with unions to negotiate wages and benefits. On average, right-to-work states tend to have lower unemployment rates but also lower median wages, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
    Without unions to stand up for their rights, many workers argue that such states allow more dangerous working conditions and less job security.
    Minor could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday morning.
    "It's a tough time right now," Forby said. "Putting people to work is our number one issue."
    Forby also spoke briefly about the possible closure of Tamms Correctional Center, as proposed by Governor Pat Quinn.
    "I still think they're going to keep the prisons open," Forby said, calling Quinn's moves "scare tactics."
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