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State

Cullerton: Unions have 'credible' pension plan

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says his negotiations with labor union leaders have yielded a "credible and constitutional" pension-reform plan.

Cullerton released a statement Wednesday saying he's had a series of meetings with unions representing teachers, nurses, police officers and others.

The Chicago Democrat didn't reveal the plan's substance. But he says he will begin discussing it with Democratic senators and House Speaker Michael Madigan — also a Chicago Democrat.

Madigan on Wednesday advanced his own plan for trimming pension benefits and increasing participants' contributions to solve the crisis. State officials' decades of underfunding has left pension accounts $97 billion short of what they need long term.

Cullerton has insisted that unilaterally cutting benefits or requiring increased contributions would violate the Constitution.

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The Madigan bill is SB1

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

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