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Legislative Leaders Report Pension Progress
Legislative Leaders Report Pension Progress

Leaders of the Illinois Legislature say they’re making progress negotiating a plan to deal with the state’s $100 billion pension crisis.

The four caucus leaders of the state House and Senate on Thursday held a conference call over a plan that could save close to $150 billion over 30 years.

Their work builds off of a framework developed over the summer and fall by a bipartisan committee of lawmakers.

Senate President John Cullerton’s spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon says Thursday’s meeting won’t be the last before lawmakers meet in Springfield Dec. 3.

Phelon says agreements have progressed to the stage that parts of the plan are being communicated with rank and file lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Illinois unions are planning an intensive lobbying push in opposition to the developing plan.

The “We are One Coalition” represents the state’s major employee unions. The group sent an email to members about “emergency call-in days” next week and Dec. 2-3.

Members are being asked to call and visit lawmakers’ offices and urge them to vote against pension bills that don’t have union support. Unions say they weren’t consulted and the plan contains elements they believe are unconstitutional.