Closer Look: Pension debt costs hurt across Ill.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois' budget crisis is expected to worsen after lawmakers failed to enact pension reform last week, and residents will feel the impact across Illinois.

The state's annual pension fund payment is expected to increase by about $1 billion, to nearly $7 billion, in the next fiscal year. That's more than 16 percent of the state's general funds budget, up from 6 percent in 2008.

As the state pays more for pensions, there's less money for schools, police and Medicaid.

Stacy Goodar is a student at Kennedy-King College in Chicago. She's one of 18,000 people who lost state financial aid last year because the program ran out of money. She says more students are likely to drop out without the funds.

Illinois has a $96 billion pension crisis, the nation's worst.


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