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Closer Look: Lawmakers weighing pension options

Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:17 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:21 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Lawmakers return to Springfield with two options on the table for addressing Illinois' $97 billion pension problem.

Last week, the House approved a plan sponsored by Speaker Michael Madigan. Senate President John Cullerton and union leaders also said they had sketched out their own pension-reform plan.

Rikeesha Phelon is a spokeswoman for Cullerton. She says Senate Democrats will meet Monday to discuss whether to take up Madigan's bill or the union-supported measure.

Madigan's plan requires employees to contribute more toward their retirement and limits cost-of-living increases.

The details of the union-backed plan haven't been released. Phelon says it's similar to a Cullerton bill that would give workers a choice between health insurance in retirement or cost-of-living increases.

Cullerton believes his plan could survive a court challenge, while Madigan's may not.

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