Springfield -- The Illinois Senate
has approved a union-supported pension reform bill. But the measure faces an
uncertain future in the House, where lawmakers passed a competing proposal last
The Senate voted 40-16 Thursday to advance
the measure sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton.
The Chicago Democrat's plan would give
workers and retirees a choice in retirement benefits. He says it's the only
approach to solving Illinois'
nearly $100 billion pension crisis that will hold up in court.
But House Speaker Michael Madigan prefers
his plan, which he says could save the state three times more money than
Public-employee unions have said they
will file a lawsuit if Madigan's bill is enacted. They say it violates a clause
in the state constitution that says pension benefits can't be reduced.
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