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A report being released Tuesday says Illinois' plan to save $160 billion ultimately won't make much of a dent in the state's growing deficits.
The University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs study says changes to the state's major public pension systems will eliminate their unfunded liability over the next 25 years, but the state's deficit will increase to $13 billion during that time. Institute researchers projected a $14 billion deficit - a $1 billion difference - if the state had not implemented pension reform.
Institute Director Chris Mooney says the study was released as campaigns for the 2014 general election begin to heat up in order to make sure the state's fiscal crisis is talked about.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - With the fight over solving Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall moving to the courts, the state faces a grim possibility: The plan could be tossed, and Illinois could wind up in an even deeper fiscal hole.
Lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday that they say eliminates the $100 billion unfunded pension liability, largely by cutting benefits.
Labor unions say it's unconstitutional and plan to sue once Gov. Pat Quinn signs it.
Court rulings on similar cases elsewhere have varied.
A bankruptcy judge in Detroit said Tuesday that city pensions can be cut.
But in Arizona a court said asking employees to contribute more to their retirement was illegal and made the state repay workers, with interest.
Experts say that could happen in Illinois, which has some of the country's stronger pension protections.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are set to consider a potentially historic plan to solve the state's worst-in-the-nation $100 billion pension crisis.
Tuesday will begin with a morning hearing where a bipartisan committee of lawmakers will discuss the proposal. Opponents and supporters also will get a chance to weigh in.
A clear majority of committee members signed off on the plan Monday, sending it to the floor of the House and Senate.
Illinois has the nation's worst-funded state pension systems. The bill before the Legislature on Tuesday is estimated to save $160 billion over 30 years by trimming retirement benefits.
Illinois' legislative leaders and the governor have spent recent days drumming up support for the proposal.
Labor unions say it's unfair to retirees and believe that some elements are unconstitutional.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois House will convene for a special session next week on the state's roughly $100 billion pension crisis.
Both the House and Senate had tentatively set two days aside next week to meet. On Monday House Speaker Michael Madigan's chief of staff emailed representatives, telling them to expect a one-day session starting Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m.
Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says senators still have the days on the books and there has been no change for now.
The four legislative leaders met last week on a plan that could save around $150 billion over the next three decades. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the speaker continued discussions with leaders over the weekend and there was progress.
The leaders are expected to talk again this week.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An employee pension reform bill passed by the Legislature for the Chicago park district is being watched as a test case for statewide reforms, even as it poses a tricky dilemma for Gov. Pat Quinn.
Lawmakers say passage of the park district reforms shouldn't be interpreted as a blueprint for the success of a larger plan addressing the state's $100 billion pension problem. But it could be a test case for how pension reform deals will be interpreted by the courts.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman credits successful negotiations between the park district and labor union, something that hasn't happened statewide.
Quinn has been a champion of pension reform. But union officials who raised a late objection to the park district plan are among his biggest campaign contributors.