House to Vote on Pension Reform

SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- An Illinois House committee has given the go-ahead to a long-awaited plan to address Illinois' pension crisis.

The proposal the panel approved 6-3 on Monday calls for higher employee contributions and freezes retirees' cost-of-living increases. It now heads to the House floor.

The amended bill emerged over the weekend when the House reconvened for the final days of the lame-duck session. It doesn't contain a provision to make suburban and downstate schools pick up pension costs, something that previously had been a sticking point.

Gov. Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross back the bill. Quinn had set a deadline for pension legislation for Wednesday, when new lawmakers take office.

Illinois has the worst-in-the-nation pension problem with roughly $96 billion in unfunded liability.

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