Updated: March 20, 2013 6:13AM
Same sex marriage
Equality of opportunity is a major component toward the path of economic prosperity and social parity. However, State Sen. Jim Oberweis believes that a portion of Illinois’ population should be prevented from receiving the same opportunities as other members of our community. As a Catholic, Oberweis opposes same sex marriage, but this flag of Catholicism is that of convenience for he has been divorced, which the Catholic Church also opposes.
Pat Brady, a Catholic and the head of the Illinois Republican Party, has come out in favor of the proposed Illinois legislation to legalize same sex marriage. “I was shocked,” said Sen. Oberweis, who has questioned Brady’s stance on the issue.
Recently, 50 Illinois business leaders agreed with Pat Brady, stating in a news release that marriage equality would strengthen the workforce of Illinois employers.
“To be competitive, a state must create an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all of its citizens,” the release states.
These business leaders understand that the citizens of Illinois are diverse and that diversity creates a rainbow of social and economic opportunity. The weddings alone have the potential of bringing $72 million annually to Illinois.
While I have no expectation that Jim Oberweis would rethink his vote, I hope that other members of the Party of Lincoln will have the political courage to support same-sex marriage.
Corinne M. Pierog
Volunteers for seniors
Members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Kendall County (RSVP) recently assisted the Kendall County EMA and Grundy County Health Department in an emergency preparedness exercise. The volunteers played the role of patients — some who were told to act upset, ill, etc., to simulate patients in a real life disaster and received services of the EMA staff as they performed a prescription medicine dispensing exercise.
I would like to thank all of the RSVP volunteers who gave their time to help Kendall and Grundy Counties become ready in the event of a disaster.
RSVP has many other volunteer projects available serving Kendall County’s nonprofit organizations. If you are ready to volunteer in Kendall County, call Senior Services Associates Inc. at 630-553-5777 and ask for Kathy B.
Senior Services Associates
It’s a revenue crisis
Now that the current Illinois state legislature is in place and Governor Quinn has shared his State of the State address, it is reasonable to assume that those we have elected into office will begin working on our behalf.
One area of unresolved business is the resolution to the Illinois teachers’ pension. (Other state employees, police, firemen, etc. will also be addressed in the future.)
I was able to attend a forum presented by State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and John Laesch, with Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice at East High School in January.
Let me state that I am a retired teacher with 35 years in education. I paid my fair share toward my pension as did my school district. The state of Illinois, on the other hand, used funds expected to go toward our pensions for other state bills and needs. I kept my end of the bargain in paying my part of my pension whereas the state did not.
At the forum in January, many people shared information with those in attendance.
Three presenters gave practical solutions to increase Illinois revenues in three clear cut ways.
Dr. Bill Barclay proposed a one dollar tax on transactions at the Chicago Board of Trade. This one dollar transaction would earn six billion in revenue per year. (http://www.progressivefox.com/?p=4970)
Dr. Jean Pierce explained the gains available with a gradual income tax. Dr. Pierce detailed Illinois’ funding of education nationwide and provides another solution for increased revenue. (http://www.progressivefox.com/?p=5011)
Dr. Ron Baiman spoke on the topic, Closing Tax Loopholes in Illinois. Of great impact was his statement that “… roughly 74 percent of Illinois’ FY 2013 unfunded pension liability over the next 33 years could be paid for by closing these six corporate tax loopholes.” (http://www.progressivefox.com/?p=5018)
Here are three solutions to secure funds that the state of Illinois did not secure for its public employees.