Bipartisan Committee Holds First Pension Hearing

CHICAGO (AP) -- A bipartisan panel of Illinois lawmakers charged with addressing the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis will hold its first public hearing.

The 10-member group is expected to meet Thursday in downtown Chicago and hear testimony from a number of groups, including unions.

Gov. Pat Quinn called lawmakers back to Springfield this month for a special legislative session on pensions. But both chambers remained divided on how fix the problem.

Legislators voted to form a so-called conference committee in hopes its members will be able to come up with a compromise. Six Democrats and four Republicans were appointed.

They're expected to report back July 9.

Illinois has the worst state pension shortfall nationwide, largely due to lawmakers skipping or shorting payments to public-employee retirement funds.

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