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IL House votes to end free retiree health premiums

Wed, 09 May 2012 17:12:44 CDT
By: AP and IPR

Longtime state employees would no longer be able get free health insurance when they retire under legislation approved by the Illinois House. The vote is part of a push to cut pension benefits for government retirees. The governor, House speaker and other officials want to save money by cutting pensions, health care and other costs. House Republican Leader Tom Cross says it's the first of many difficult votes to come.

"It's time for us to do the uncomfortable tasks, have the uncomfortable conversations, and be honest with retirees. Tell them: You know what? We can't afford to give it to you free."

Right now, people who spend 20 years working for the state don't have to pay health insurance premiums in retirement. The measure to end that benefit passed 74-43. It now goes to the state Senate.

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