Better than Charlie Rose w/ Barack Obama: Berkowitz w/ Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady, Cable and web

Senator Bill Brady: The truth is that the state employee cost of living increase at 3% is unsustainable. Prospectively… we have to bring the COLA more in line with reality and what we can afford. We have to say to teachers, transportation workers or state troopers… we are going to suspend the COLA this year and another and then reinstitute at a level we could afford, or pay, the COLA only, say, on the first $50,000 or first $25,000 of employee income.

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Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz, featuring this week Bill Brady, State Senator and Republican Primary gubernatorial candidate (R-Bloomington), is airing on its regular schedule, as indicated, below:

 Tonight (Monday) and Wednesday night at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 19 in ten Chicago Metro North Shore suburbs: Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

Tonight (Monday) at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] throughout the City of Chicago

 Tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 8:30 pm in 24 North and Northwest Chicago Metro suburbs on 

Comcast Ch. 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette.

and on

Comcast Cable Ch. 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling

and this Thursday night at 8:30 pm in Rockford and surrounding areas on Cable Ch. 17

and you can also watch the show 24/7 on your computer

 

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Senator Bill Brady: The two main questions: Who can win and who can lead. [Clearly, Bill Brady  thinks he is best, among Dillard, Rutherford, Rauner and himself, on both categories, Clearly, he is confident that he has been around the track and he knows the issues and how to win it this time.  Brady  thinks Quinn’s inability to deal with the issues the last four years makes him a deeply flawed candidate this time around.]

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Senator Bill Brady: The truth is that the state employee cost of living increase at 3% is unsustainable. Prospectively… we have to bring the COLA more in line with reality and what we can afford. We have to say to teachers, transportation worker or state trooper… we are going to suspend the COLA this year and another and then reinstitute at a level we could afford, or pay, the COLA only, say, on the first $50,000 or first $25,000 of employee income.

Jeff Berkowitz: What do you think is the best state employee pension reform option?

Senator Bill Brady: My bill suspended the state employee pension COLA until we get our footing back

Jeff Berkowitz: How long of a freeze, at zero percent increase, is that?

Senator Bill Brady: The bill said let’s get our footing back and then give a COLA when we can afford to do so

Jeff Berkowitz: How long would you freeze the COLA? Give me an estimate…

Senator Bill Brady: I would think if we do the right things in the economy, we could start a COLA again, but simple, not "compounded percentage increases," in two to three years

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Jeff Berkowitz: When you go back to a COLA, do you go back to something that reflects the actual cost of living increase that people are facing, not an automatic three percent per year- which is what the state employees were getting previously as a  part of their pension payments?

Senator Bill Brady: That’s my intent.

Senator Bill Brady: I’m not sure raising the retirement age for state employees is constitutional and I am not sure the savings on that item is enough to fight that battle.

Jeff Berkowitz: Do you favor increasing the employee contribution for state employee pensions?

Senator Bill Brady: I’m not sure the savings [or benefits] of increasing the state employee pension contribution is worth [the risk to achieving reform] of doing that.

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Jeff Berkowitz: What does Gov candidate Bruce Rauner think about above?  Is he closer to you or maybe to Gov candidate State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, or what?  In short, we don’t know what Rauner or Rutherford think because they haven’t sat for this kind of interview. Rauner and Rutherford should come on this show and tell the 700,000 or so Republican Primary voters, and Democrats and Independents, what they think. They can’t just do this gubernatorial campaign by press releases and ads.

Senator Bill Brady: It sounds like that is an endorsement for me

Jeff Berkowitz: No, we endorse what you do—you have come here umpteen times in the last decade and told us your positions on the relevant public policy issues. We endorse what you are doing in terms of being willing to discuss the issues with us. When you are running for office, you come here and give us your positions. When you are not running, you come here and give us your positions.  We are not supporting Republicans  or Democrats, and we don’t favor any candidate, we just want good public policy and we want democracy to work and that requires the Republican Primary candidates for Governor and the Democratic Primary candidates, Bill Daley and Governor Quinn, to appear on shows like this (and there aren’t any other shows like this) and give us their positions.

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Senator Bill Brady: It’s about somebody who has a platform to create private sector jobs. Over the last five years, we have lost over 290,000 jobs in Illinois

Jeff Berkowitz: The jobs are going to other states?

Senator Bill Brady: They are going to other states. Bottom line, [Getting the policy right] affects the livelihood of families that are trying to support themselves…I estimate it is over 4.5 billion dollars that is lost to our state budget that could be used [to help so many people].  Jobs, jobs, jobs.  It's about somebody who has a platform to create private sector jobs.  [My platform] means state employee pension reform, paying our bills on time, balancing our budget, maintaining our roads-- so that business knows we are serious abut providing an environment that is conducive to business growth…it also means workman’s compensation reform;  it also means reducing the tax burden…Quinn… raised taxes  67 % and that has taken over one week’s pay [over the course of a year] from families.

Jeff Berkowitz: You favor the sunset of the 67% income tax inccrease? You do not favor [letting the income tax increase continue] after 2014?

Senator Bill Brady: Absolutely not.

Jeff Berkowitz: Won’t  that leave a 5 billion dollar gap of  revenue [relative to state spending].

Senator Bill Brady: Well, we will get reduced pension payments from state employee pension reform-- and as you bring jobs back, you will get more state revenue. What even some Republican candidates forget-- there are two ways to raise revenue: raise tax rates or increase the base on which taxes apply by bringing jobs back to Illinois.

Jeff Berkowitz: You think Rauner, Rutherford and Dillard would agree with you on that?

Senator Bill Brady: We’ll let them come on your show and tell you.  

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