Illinois House OKs Madigan pension-reform plan

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois House lawmakers have taken the "biggest step to date" toward restoring the state's financial stability.
   
The House approved a pension overhaul on Thursday that requires state employees to pay 2 percent more toward their retirements. They would also have to delay retirement and accept less-generous annual cost-of-living increases.
   
The proposal is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan. It requires Illinois to guarantee that it would make its required contribution every year.
   
In a statement Quinn says it is a comprehensive solution that addresses a decades-long problem. Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension debt.
   
The measure now goes to the Senate where President John Cullerton has his own ideas about reform.
 

Earlier story:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a comprehensive pension-reform plan for the first time after years of talks.
   
The House voted 62-51 Thursday to advance the measure sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan.
   
The Chicago Democrat's proposal is designed to close a $97 billion deficit that dogs the state's pension plans. Underfunding for decades has left the accounts short of what they need.
   
The legislation requires employees to contribute 2 percent more of their earnings to their pensions. They would also have to delay retirement and accept less-generous annual cost-of-living increases.
   
The state would guarantee it would make its required contribution every year.
   
The measure now goes to the Senate where President John Cullerton has his own ideas about reform.

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