Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Tuesday released a new, 90-second video calling for pension reform to help remedy his home state's poor credit rating.
"Illinois taxpayers will have to pay $1.5 million extra for every $100 million borrowed," Kirk, who turned 53 on Sunday, says in the video. "I think it's time for decisive bipartisan action to make sure our state does not have the worst credit rating of all 50 states." (Watch the video above.)
Last month, the Illinois General Assembly ended a special legislative session without agreeing upon a course of action on the state's poorly funded public employee pension system. Standard & Poor's subsequently moved to downgrade the state's (already) second-worst-in-the-nation credit rating from A-plus to A.
"The downgrade reflects the state's weak pension funding levels and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions," S&P analyst Robin Prunty said in a statement announcing the downgrade.
Kirk's most recent video prior to Tuesday's message was a greeting played at an Illinois delegation breakfast at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last month. Kirk has been cautiously dipping his toe back into the political arena while he continues to recover from a major stroke he suffered in January.
The Chicago Tribune notes that the Tuesday video is Kirk's first update that focuses on a matter of policy rather than the senator's recovery.