The new Illinois legislature includes two new lawmakers representing part of Springfield... the first Democrats to represent part of the city in years.
Representative Sue Scherer is a Decatur schoolteacher who is so far keeping her plans under wraps, particularly in the area of pension reform. Appearing live on 970 WMAY, Scherer says the state should keep its pension promises to workers and retirees, but declines to offer ideas on how that can happen without raising taxes or dramatically cutting spending on other state services.
New State Senator Andy Manar says he is the first Democrat to represent Springfield in the Senate in more than 100 years. He is also holding back on particulars about pension reform, saying he wants to keep an open mind about everything.
But Manar does say he would not vote for an extension of the temporary income tax increase passed two years ago. Instead, he's calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the state's entire tax structure, including the possibility of a graduated income tax.
[To hear the complete interviews with Scherer and Manar, click here.]