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Pension Reform Bill Passes Legislature

Governor Quinn praises passage and says he will sign it. Find out how your legislator voted.
SPRINGFIELD -- Some in the state legislature said the pension reform bill went too far, others not far enough.  Few believed the compromise plan forged by Democratic and Republican leadership was 'just right,' but with no alternative and the state bleeding millions each day from unfunded pension costs, the plan designed to generate $160 Billion in savings passed both the House and Senate and is headed to Governor Quinn's desk.

But it didn't pass without a lot of debate.  The House and Senate had been debating the bill most of Tuesday afternoon during a rare December Special Session.  Some lawmakers questioned whether the proposal -- which takes a number of steps to lower the state's pension liability -- had been properly thought out.  House Speaker Mike Madigan responded that it was a compromise bill crafted by both Democratic and Republican leadership even as he conceded more changes may be needed.

"This is not a one-sdied bill," he pleaded with fellow House members.  "There will be changes here, but this bill is a well thought out well balanced bill that deserves the support of this body, the state senate, and govenor quinn."  The bill passed by just two votes.

The 'We Are One' coalition of public employee unions urged Governor Quinn to veto the legislation, saying the if he doesn't, "... our union coalition will have no choice but to seek to uphold the illinois constitution and protect workers' life savings through legal action."  They say the bill is clearly unconstiutional"

Quinn clearly will sign it, saying in his own statement, "This bill will ensure retirement security for those who have faithfully contributed to the pension systems, end the squeeze on critical education and healthcare services, and support economic growth."

Senate Vote:  30 Yes, 24 No, 3 Present
Stadelman:  Yes
Syverson:  Yes
Bivins:  No

House Vote:   62 Yes, 53 No, 1 Present
Jefferson:  No
Cabello:  No
Sosnowski:  No
Pritchard:  No
Stewart:  No
Demmer:  Yes
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