The new law overhauling two Chicago pension systems has factored into the re-election bid for Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The plan addresses municipal employees and laborers. It would nearly eliminate the $9.4 billion shortfall in those pension funds by cutting benefits. An early version contained a property tax increase, but was removed. Experts say the law could benefit Quinn, who's seeking re-election and needs a strong Chicago showing.
Quinn urged Emanuel to halt raising property taxes for needed revenues. Emanuel agreed to do so for one year. Still, Republican challenger Bruce Rauner accuses Quinn of implicitly supporting a tax hike. Emanuel is up for re-election in 2015 and the tax question could dog him. Meanwhile, the law could be a template for other municipalities with underfunded pensions.
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