Unions disagree with Illinois gov's budget speech framework


Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A coalition of unions says Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address was an important nod at the pension problem but members disagree with how Quinn framed the issue.
Quinn called on lawmakers during his Wednesday speech to address pensions immediately. Quinn says the roughly $100 billion in unfunded liability puts the squeeze on other areas as officials try to catch up. Quinn says his proposed $400 million in education cuts are a direct result of lawmakers' inaction.
But the We Are On Illinois coalition says the actual cost of today's pensions are "negligible" compared to the cost of debt accrued by politicians who failed to fully fund retirement funds for years. The group includes teachers, state workers and nurses.
The coalition says it endorses Quinn's proposal to close corporate tax loopholes.

Earlier story:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has issued a direct challenge to lawmakers to approve pension legislation immediately.
Attempts at overhaul on the nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liability have failed repeatedly, though there are currently several bills pending.
In his budget address Wednesday, Quinn told lawmakers: "It's time for you to legislate."
Quinn says that the pension payment is squeezing other services and departments, including education. His budget calls for steep cuts to education.

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