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Lawmakers May Cap Wage Increase for State Workers

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are considering a measure to cap any wage increases for state employees in contracts negotiations between their unions and the governor's office.  State Rep. John Bradley is sponsoring the measure and said Thursday the state has already made too many financial promises it can't keep.  Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has been unable to reach an agreement to replace a contract with the state's largest employees union that expired in June.  

Union representatives told the House Revenue and Finance Committee Thursday that the proposal would restrict their right to negotiate a contract. They argued state employees shouldn't take a hit for budget problems that politicians created.  Financial experts also briefed the committee on the state's severely underfunded pension system liability and backlog of billions of dollars of unpaid bills.

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