Illinois legislators agree to pension deal

By WEEK Producer

November 27, 2013 Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 8:46 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Legislators in charge of fixing Illinois worst-in-the-nation unfunded pension have reached a preliminary deal that would fund the program for the next 30 years.

Senator Bill Brady, a member of the pension committee that laid out this deal, said it would scale back cost of living increases for state employees, reduce employee contribution by one percent, raise the retirement age slightly and save the state of Illinois $160 billion over the next 30 years.

The underfunded pension has been a sticking point for Governor Quinn. So much so, he moved to suspend lawmaker's paychecks until a deal was made. A Cook County judge ruled in September that the move was unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, he was all smiles on the potential deal.

"The key is to erase a $100 billion liability that's hovering over our state's economy,” Quinn said. “It hurts our state's economy. It hurts our jobs and if we erase that liability we're going to help Illinois in our economy immeasurably and help our taxpayers."

The governor said if this current deal reaches his desk, he will sign it into law.

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