An Illinois House committee wants to take away a perk for government retirees who get a big break on health insurance. State employees who work for 20 years pay no insurance premium in retirement. A measure to end that benefit cleared the Democrat-controlled House Executive Committee without opposition Wednesday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees opposes the legislation. The proposal is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan and is likely to be a bargaining chip in negotiations over cutting union pension benefits. House Republican Leader Tom Cross joined Madigan in a rare bipartisan push. Joanna Webb-Gauvin of AFSCME Council 31 argued health care coverage should remain part of compensation packages that state administrators negotiate with employees.
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