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Pension fix elusive

Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:02:06 CST
By: IPR's Tony Arnold

     Some Illinois lawmakers admit they may not have a compromise on pension reform before the end of the session in January. That comes after months of calls for them to act.
     IPR's Tony Arnold reports:


Illinois has the worst-funded pensions in the country.

And many officials say funding for other government programs is being cut in order to make payments to a poorly-organized retirement system.

The governor and financial analysts have called on the legislature to approve reforms in January - but it's looking like that may not happen.

Senate President John Cullerton has hope for his plan, which still needs approval in the House.

It offers certain state employees a choice - between health care in retirement or pay increases in retirement.

CULLERTON: It's something which I think we can clearly pass within the next few months.

Laurence Msall heads The Civic Federation - a financial watchdog group.

He says lawmakers need to act soon - and if they wait to pass pension reform...

MSALL: That would be horrible.

Msall says credit rating agencies have sent many signals to state lawmakers that more downgrades could be coming if pension reform isnít approved.

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