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WJBD - Local News - Governor Quinn Says Pensions are Toughest of Issues

Governor Quinn Says Pensions are Toughest of Issues

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is telling lawmakers that they hold the solution to solving the state's fiscal crisis, particularly Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem.  The Chicago Democrat says it's hard but not impossible.  He spoke to lawmakers during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday.  

Quinn put his support behind Senate Bill 1, which was measure introduced last month. It includes parts of a Senate-approved measure along with the increased contributions and reduced benefits in the bill that failed to get a House vote. It's sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton.  

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability and Quinn called it the "toughest of issues" in the state.  However, he only made scattered references throughout his speech to the problem.   

Business interests in Illinois say they're behind Quinn's call for pension reform.  The Illinois Manufacturers' Association says "the time for talk is over." Association president Greg Baise says the Illinois General Assembly must pass pension reform because the state's fiscal instability is forcing businesses "to look elsewhere for future investments."

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