Naperville, IL…After being sworn into the 99th General Assembly, Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) kept his promise to residents of the 41st House District by refusing to accept his legislative pension and healthcare benefits.

After refusing the pension and benefits, Wehrli took an additional step in providing solutions to the state’s broken pension systems by signing on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 138, a bill prohibiting any new members of the General Assembly from collecting a taxpayer-funded pension.

“We have a real serious problem with the state’s pension systems and I intend to bring solutions to the table, not add to Illinois’ financial shortcomings,” said Wehrli. “I made a promise to my district’s residents that I would refuse a legislative pension, and that’s what I did.”

When a new member of the General Assembly is inaugurated they can choose to either accept or refuse the pension and healthcare benefits. Once a decision is made to refuse a benefit; the legislator is no longer eligible to enter the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS).

HB 138, as proposed, would eliminate the GARS opportunity to any new member of the General Assembly after the 2016 elections. “Illinois is on a path to destruction and it will only worsen if something is not done,” said Wehrli. “Our pension systems are failing and in order to protect the pensioners and taxpayers responsibly we will have to make tough decisions.”

As a former Councilman in the City of Naperville, Wehrli championed this same concept and was able to eliminate elected official pensions in one of the largest cities in Illinois. “If we are applying these concepts at the local levels to attain financial stability, we should certainly take a lesson and apply them to the state level,” said Wehrli. “I was sent to Springfield to be a public servant. Somewhere along the way we lost our path. We are here to serve the people, not ourselves.”
SPRINGFIELD – Former Naperville City Councilman Grant Wehrli (R, Naperville), was sworn in today as State Representative to replace retiring Rep. Darlene Senger of the 41st House District. Understanding the financial crisis Illinois faces, Wehrli has already shown his commitment to serve the people of the 41st District honorably and responsively by refusing his legislative pension and will utilize his municipal and leadership experience to find solutions solving the many pressing issues facing Illinois.

"There are many challenges facing our state that continue to burden the taxpayers," said Wherli. "For Illinois to succeed, we must reduce the size of government, increase economic opportunity and manufacturing expansion and harness strong leadership; I plan to champion policies that uphold these concepts at every turn.”

Wehrli took his oath to serve the people of Illinois along with newly acquainted colleagues at the 99th Illinois General Assembly ceremony held at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

As a member of the Naperville City Council, Wehrli has been a champion of implementing sound financial and budgeting practices, limited government, transparency and free enterprise showing unwavering commitment to the taxpayers' bottom line, which played an integral role in the city maintaining its highest bond rating possible. Wehrli plans to focus on implementing a solid financial plan for the state, while thoughtfully addressing our pension and borrowing practices and reforming our oppressive corporate tax structure and unfair business regulations.

“Without proper budgeting policies in place to craft a solid financial plan for the state and meaningful pension reform, respectful to both pensioners and taxpayers, liability will continue to place massive and unsustainable pressure on Illinois residents,” said Wehrli.

The 41st House District resides completely within DuPage County encompassing the south-west portion of Naperville to the far north, including a small section of Warrenville.

“The solutions that are needed are not simple, but we have the resources to turn the state around. I believe we can become a leading state that affords opportunity and encourages growth. I want our residents to be proud to call Illinois their home.”