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Pension Reform Compromise Reached

CHICAGO - After more than a year of stalled talks, our state's top lawmakers say they have reached a deal on pension reform. Political leaders met in Chicago this morning to continue their ongoing negotiations. Now they say they're ready for a vote.
CHICAGO - After more than a year of stalled talks, our state's top lawmakers say they have reached a deal on pension reform. Political leaders met in Chicago this morning to continue their ongoing negotiations. Now they say they're ready for a vote.

This is the first time all of the legislative leaders have agreed on the same pension plan. Specifics are being kept under wraps until all lawmakers have been filled in.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan says changes have been made to cost of living increases, retirement age, and now there's a 401-k style option. On the flip side, state workers and teachers will pay in less of their paycheck. It's unclear what kind of savings could be in store, that the plan eliminates the hundred billion dollar unfunded pension debt over the next 30 years.

"The key is to erase a 100 billion dollar liability that's hovering over our state's economy." said Governor Pat Quinn in Washington today. "It hurts our state's economy, it hurts our jobs. and if we erase that liability we can help Illinois and our economy immeasurably and help our taxpayers because right now our taxpayers spend five million dollars every day on this issue." 

Whatever the deal is, it will need at least 60 votes in the House and 30 in the Senate. That's a simple majority. But getting to those numbers has been very challenging in past pension votes. So this is not a done deal yet.

Lawmakers will be back in Springfield this Tuesday to vote.


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