SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - 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 Thursday.
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 Security benefits.
The St. Louis Zoo is once again asking for feedback on plans for their new expansion.
After zoo officials bought the old Forest Park Hospital in October 2012, they said no work would start without input from the public. This evening, there is an open house in the zoo where you can make your voice heard.
The event runs from 4-7PM in The Living World near the north entrance to the zoo.
You can see the expansion plans here.