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Quinn: Pension Problem Is 'Extreme Emergency'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is disputing a fellow top Democrat's statements that Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall isn't a crisis.

Senate President John Cullerton has said that the pension shortfall is not an imminent crisis, but that finding a solution can keep the state's income taxes down.   Quinn told reporters Tuesday that solving the pension crisis is a matter of "extreme emergency." He says there's opportunity to solve the problem in the next few weeks. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol Tuesday. 

A bipartisan committee working on reform is split over a pension plan that saves $138 billion over 30 years.

Quinn says he's focused on pensions and declined to address the scheduled expiration of the temporary income tax in 2015 and what it could do to the state's budget. 

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