Springfield -- Gov. Pat Quinn says
the Illinois House should act quickly to approve a pension-reform package
because the state's economy depends on it.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's plan to
increase employee contributions and trim benefits is scheduled for a House vote
Years of state underfunding of pension
accounts has left Illinois
$97 billion short of covering future obligations.
The Democratic governor says the
liability grows by $17 million a day. He says Illinois' economy won't fully recover until
reform is approved.
But union representatives told a House
committee Wednesday the opposite is true. Illinois Education Association
President Cinda Klickna says cutting pension benefits takes away money retirees
spend in local communities and especially hits teachers who don't have Social
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