Chicago mayor vows full court press on pensions

Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT

CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he will expend as much political capital as necessary to push for pension reforms, but that lawmakers in Springfield need to "get in gear."

In a meeting with reporters at Bloomberg offices Thursday, Emanuel said he is holding hearings, talking with unions and collaborating with suburban mayors on the issue.

He said now it's time for the General Assembly to "pick up the game."

Illinois and Chicago each face formidable employee pension shortfalls. Emanuel says if lawmakers don't take action, Chicago's payments will be $1.2 billion in less than four years, or 22 percent of the city's budget.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said lawmakers still are trying to come up with proposals with enough bi-partisan support to pass.

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