Illinois legislators reach pension deal, will be considered during Dec. 3 special session

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Associated Press

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Under growing public pressure to act, the leaders of Illinois' General Assembly have announced they have an agreement on how to solve the state's $100 billion pension problem.

Lawmakers are expected to return to the Capitol on Tuesday to vote on the proposal.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says it will be "a very difficult roll call" and that unions will oppose the deal.

He says the agreement reached Wednesday would save the state $160 billion over 30 years, in part by limiting the cost-of-living increases that retirees receive on their pension benefits.

Illinois has the nation's worst-funded public employee pension systems. The shortfall has led to downgrades of the state's credit rating and cuts to education and social services.

Yet for years lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to address the crisis.

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