Dear Residents of the 10th Senate District,

I’m writing to provide you with information regarding the pension legislation that passed December 4, 2013. The proposal that passed the General Assembly addresses the state pension systems (i.e. GARS, TRS, SERS, and SURS). 

While Chicago and Cook County have their own pension challenges pertaining to their various pension systems (i.e. police, fire, teachers, municipal and laborers), their pension systems were not addressed in this legislation. In 2010, however, I voted for SB3538 which required the City of Chicago to have their police and fire pension systems 90% funded by 2044. I will continue to support similar measures to fund the Chicago teacher pension fund at the same level.

When I sought the Senate seat in 2010, I was aware of the other financial challenges that faced our state besides being the worst funded pension system in the country. Our state also had the lowest credit rating in the nation, high unemployment, an education system that was poorly funded and billions of dollars in unpaid bills. 

I understand that employees were not to blame for this mess. However, I sought the senate seat to make a positive difference, not only for those of us that are adults, but also for our children and their future. Failing to address the state’s ongoing problems for the past thirty years or more led us to this day. Not addressing these issues has only made them worse. Neglecting these issues has crippled our state. Increasing income taxes even higher was not a reasonable solution. Deeper cuts to education, mental health, the developmentally disabled or programs for the elderly were also unrealistic solutions. Inaction was not an option.

Regrettably, the pension crisis is the most pressing issue we face today in Illinois. Thirty years of neglecting the crisis created today’s problems and led to the unfunded liability of $100 billion. After three years of trying to solve the crisis through various scenarios, none of the proposals could pass both the Senate and the House.

This impasse led to the creation of a conference committee consisting of 10 members of the General Assembly (Senators and Representatives of both parties). After many months of hard work, the conference committee crafted a solution which was supported by the democratic and republican leaders of both chambers. The solution included some of the following terms: retirees will not receive anything less than they are receiving today, however, annual cost of living increases will be based on a formula (adjusted for inflation) taking into account years of service multiplied by 3% simple interest rather than the current cost of living increase which is based on 3% compounded interest; a provision to guarantee funding of the pension systems; actuarially determined payments will be made to the pension systems; additional tax dollars will be added to the pension systems until the systems are fully funded by 2043; and active employees will contribute 1% less than they contribute from their checks today.

While not an ideal solution, it was a proposal that I chose to support in hopes of stabilizing, preserving and protecting the pension systems for years to come. I also believe the changes will improve our state’s financial situation which should increase our credit rating, allow us to pay our old bills, provide more employment opportunities and offer a better economic environment for Illinois. Although this legislation will likely face a court challenge, the steps taken today will hopefully remove the financial uncertainty that has faced the people of our state for far too long.

My goal is and always has been to do my best to address our state’s problems and to change the course of the past to ensure a better future for everyone in the 10th District and Illinois.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


John G. Mulroe
State Senator
10th Legislative District

Category: News Releases

mulroe-dentalSenator John G. Mulroe (D-10) this week voted to restore the funding of dental service coverage to low-income adults on Medicaid. 

The SMART Act, a 2012 effort to save the state money, eliminated adult dental coverage for Medicaid except in cases of emergency.

Mulroe, who is Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee and co-sponsored the legislation to restore dental coverage, feels that preventative care is a far more fiscally responsible option than costly emergency room visits for severe dental emergencies.

“Preventative care is cheaper than emergency care,” Mulroe said.  “In my opinion, it’s better to pay the costs associated with filling a cavity than to pay for an emergency room visit to deal with a rotten tooth that has to be extracted, which could have been prevented by a routine visit to the dentist. This change will save money in the long run.”

Restoring dental services will not only provide adequate preventative care to adult Medicaid recipients, it will also provide teaching opportunities for the many dental schools within our state.

In addition to the impact these reductions have had on Medicaid recipients, the cuts to the adult dental program have also had a significant impact on the state’s dental schools. Dental school patients are primarily adult Medicaid recipients.  The removal of adult dental coverage has caused dental schools to lose a huge portion of their funding, as well as a large pool of their patients, causing students to miss out on educational experiences and possibly procedures needed for graduation.

“The unintended consequence of the state trying to save money by cutting Medicaid benefits is a future generation of dentists that are not adequately prepared for work in their field,” Mulroe continued.  “I don’t think anyone wants to see that happen.”

The dental service restoration bill will now move to the Illinois House for a final vote.

Category: News Releases

Working Families


eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
127 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1035
(217) 782-2331 FAX
District Office:
6232 N. Northwest Highway
Chicago, IL 60631
(773) 763-3810
(773) 763-3881 FAX