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Simon: Medicaid, pension reform needed to save education 

The Southern Illinoisan
May 24, 2012

CARTERVILLE – Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon used a welcome ceremony of John A. Logan College's new president as an opportunity to promote the kinds of statewide pension and Medicaid reforms she says will protect higher education funding.

Simon welcomed incoming JALC President Mike Dreith Thursday afternoon. During her announcement she urged lawmakers to agree pension and health care changes Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing in an effort to fix budget shortfalls in the upcoming fiscal year.

Benefits for public employees will continue to eat up more revenue and squeeze out funding for other areas, like education and law enforcement, Simon said.

“Runaway Medicaid and pension costs could squeeze out education funding if major reforms are not enacted this spring,” she said. “When President Dreith takes over on July 1, we want John A. Logan College to know its state dollars will be paid on time and in full so its students receive the best education possible.”

On Monday, legislation supported by Quinn was filed in Springfield to restructure Illinois’ Medicaid system.