Madigan drops effort to shift pension costs

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's dropping his proposal to make Illinois schools and colleges pay retirement costs for their employees.

Madigan says he reached the decision after Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn asked him to set the idea aside.

House Republicans had balked at shifting pension costs, and the issue threatened to derail other efforts to reduce the state's annual pension contribution.

Madigan said Wednesday night that he's handing the pension bill over to Republican leader Tom Cross.

The decision by the Chicago Democrat appears to clear the way for a plan to cut pension costs by reducing annual cost-of-living increases for retirees.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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