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WJBD - Local News - Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Unions and Pensions

Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Unions and Pensions

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The four Republican gubernatorial candidates say they'll be willing to work with unions if elected, but differ on how to approach the relationship.

The candidates addressed unions, pensions and the state's business climate in a Tuesday debate in Springfield. They are Treasurer Dan Rutherford, businessman Bruce Rauner and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady. 

Rauner said the relationship between government and unions is among the most important issues in Illinois. He added the power of government unions needs to be tempered. Brady says Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has failed in developing a relationship with unions. Dillard says state government has become overly unionized, but the governor has to sit down with unions. Rutherford says there has to be a balance.

The four GOP candidates for governor also debated what to do if Illinois' pension reform plan is declared unconstitutional by the courts.

Rutherford says he would bring "all interested parties" to the table to forge a new agreement.   Dillard says he'd look to the courts for guidance if they reject the plan to save an estimated $145 billion over 30 years.   Rauner says he would work for a plan that moves current and future state workers into a defined contribution plan like businesses offer.   Brady is the only candidate who supports the plan approved by lawmakers. He says he also would support a defined contribution plan.  

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