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Government State

Ill. House speaker eases pension-reform stance

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic House speaker have agreed to forgo the dicey issue of local schoolteachers' retirement costs in order to approve a fix for the state's $96 billion pension deficit.

Quinn told reporters after a meeting in Wheaton with Republicans that he will meet with legislative leaders Saturday to try to reach a deal.

Steve Brown is spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan. He says the Chicago Democrat told Quinn that reform legislation is paramount and lawmakers can figure out the financing later.

A solution to the monstrous underfunding of state employee retirement systems has been snagged because Republicans oppose shifting some costs for teachers' pensions to local school boards.

Brown says the goal is to approve a measure before the current General Assembly ends Wednesday.

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