The federal government is charging Illinois with securities fraud, claiming it misled investors about the health of its pension system. Governor Pat Quinn's office says the state has agreed to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission case. Assistant budget director Abdon Pallasch says the state is promising better financial disclosures but admitted no wrongdoing. The case revolved around more than $2 billion of municipal bonds sold from 2005 to early 2009 to pay state obligations to public-employee pension programs. The SEC charged the state did not adequately inform investors that a 50-year funding plan adopted in 1995 did not adequately cover pension liabilities. The five pensions systems are now $97 billion in debt and a solution is lawmakers' top priority.
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