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State

Quinn: Budget 'difficult' because of pension

In this Feb. 6, 2013 photo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn makes a point in his State of the 
State address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol 
in Springfield. Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills will reach really $22 billion within five 
years if lawmakers don't take action to fix the state's worst-in-the-nation pension 
crisis, according to an analysis by the Civic Federation watchdog group. The outlook 
is actually improved largely because of $1.6 billion I'm Medicaid cuts, Gov. Quinn 
signed into law last year. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Feb. 6, 2013 photo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn makes a point in his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills will reach really $22 billion within five years if lawmakers don't take action to fix the state's worst-in-the-nation pension crisis, according to an analysis by the Civic Federation watchdog group. The outlook is actually improved largely because of $1.6 billion I'm Medicaid cuts, Gov. Quinn signed into law last year. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says the state budget he'll present this week will be "hard and difficult" because of Illinois' massive pension debt.

The Democrat told reporters Monday he has to lay out the facts for the lawmakers to see the strain Illinois' nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability is going to affect other areas. He says that includes education.

Quinn gives his budget address Wednesday.

His administration has already projected a cut of about $400 million to education.

Quinn says the agreement reached with the state's largest union last week is a good step forward.

After 15 months at the bargaining table, Quinn's administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reached an agreement where workers will pay more of their health costs.

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