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College students join pension reform push

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 2:00 p.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — College students are joining Gov. Pat Quinn in calling for pension reform, saying it's vital to ensuring access to higher education.

More than a dozen students appeared at a press conference with Quinn Wednesday.

They said they rely on the state's Monetary Award Program scholarships to pay for college.

Quinn said state funding for the grants has been cut from more than $400 million to about $381 million this year.

He said 18,000 students lost their grants. Another 150,000 are on a waiting list.

The event was part of Quinn's push for pension reform by Jan. 9.

Illinois has the worst pension crisis in the country, with an unfunded liability of $96 billion. The state has to cut things like education to make its massive annual pension payments.

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