Watchdog group says Illinois must address pensions

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Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago-based watchdog group says Illinois must have a long-range plan to address its shaky finances, including the nation's worst pension problem.
   
The Civic Federation released a report Monday that says it supports Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed budget but that it's only a "stopgap" measure.
   
Civic Federation President Laurence Msall says a long-range plan will protect essential services.
   
Quinn's proposed $35.6 billion spending plan includes ending tax breaks and putting the money toward unpaid bills.
   
The group says that's not enough, and thinks the proposal may overstate savings from a recent labor contract agreement. It also calls for a process for budget revenue estimates before the governor's budget address each year.
   
Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liability. Lawmakers are considering two proposals to address the problem.

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