From the Desk of Senator Brian W. Stewart: What do you think about the proposal to consolidate pension plans?

During the upcoming fall veto session, during which we generally take action on bills vetoed by the Governor, Illinois lawmakers could also be asked to consider a proposal to consolidate suburban and downstate pension plans.

The fall veto session is scheduled for October 28-30, and November 12-14.

The recent proposal to consolidate about 650 suburban and downstate police and fire pension plans is already generating debate.

Proponents say consolidating the funds will generate greater returns at lower costs. More assets to invest have the potential to achieve greater returns. Consolidating the boards and administrative functions should also cut costs.

Opponents say that the recommended consolidations affect only 5.5 percent of Illinois’ nearly $200 billion pension debt. A false perception of progress could also be used to ignore the need to fix the entire problem.

Both proponents and opponents should be allowed sufficient time to study this plan and talk with lawmakers about the pros and cons of the proposal. 

What do you think about this proposal? Please let me know by using this form to send me an e-mail.

Helping dispose of unwanted medications

Residents are being reminded of resources available to them to dispose of unwanted medications, including controlled substances.

Walgreens announced during the week its success with providing disposal sites for unwanted medications. Its safe medication disposal kiosk program has collected and safely disposed of more than 885 tons of unwanted prescriptions as of August 31.

The nearly 1,500 safe medication disposal kiosks through the nation can be found by searching for “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal near me” in Google or Google Maps.

Walgreens can also dispense naloxone, including FDA-approved Narcan nasal spray, without requiring a prescription. Naloxone is a lifesaving medication that if administered in time can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

More information about these efforts is available at

If you have any additional thoughts or ideas, please visit my website and use this form to send me an e-mail.

Brian Stewart

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