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Civic Committee seeking discussion about pensions

October 8, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club is launching an initiative Wednesday that aims to spark a discussion about consequences if the Illinois Supreme Court strikes down pension overhaul legislation.

The nonpartisan organization of executives is calling the outreach effort to lawmakers, schools and social services the “What If” initiative. Committee President Ty Fahner calls it “imperative” to understand what could result if pension reform is overturned.

Illinois’ $100 billion shortfall in funding employee retirement benefits is considered the worst pension crisis nationwide. For years, officials skipped or shorted payments to the state’s pension systems.

Last fall, lawmakers approved a plan cutting benefits for most employees and retirees, which supporters say will fully fund the pension systems by 2044.

But unions sued over the law, saying it violates Illinois’ Constitution.

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