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Illinois House OKs Chicago Pension Overhaul

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The Illinois House has approved a plan to overhaul two Chicago pension programs that officials say could otherwise be out of money in little more than a decade.

The House voted 73-41 Tuesday on the plan proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for municipal-employee and laborers pension programs covering 57,000 workers and retirees. It hinges on a property tax increase of $750 million over five years to cut in half a $20 billion debt within 40 years.

The legislation by House Speaker Michael Madigan overcame earlier resistance after the Chicago Democrat removed language mentioning tax increase. Opponents feared they'd be blamed for a Chicago tax increase.

Without the language, many agreed to support the plan, saying Chicago could not be allowed to go bankrupt.

Quinn won't say if he'll sign Chicago pension bill.

Hours after Quinn said Monday he wouldn't support an increase, Madigan amended the legislation to place all revenue decisions on the Chicago City Council.

Quinn says officials should look at other revenue options, such as closing tax loopholes.

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