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State

Attendees: Ill. pension bill signing was somber

CHICAGO (AP) — Lawmakers inside a private event where Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark pension reform into law say the mood was somber.

Less than one dozen people attended Thursday's ceremony.

The legislation aims to solve the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis. The plan calls for cutting benefits for current employees and retirees and is estimated to save $160 billion over thirty years.

In a statement, Quinn says Illinois is moving forward and this is the way to address the most dire fiscal challenge.

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin told reporters after the signing that it was a difficult position to be in with few options.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says that it's the right thing to do and better than facing bankruptcy.

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The bill is SB1

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