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Illinois Pension Committee Sets First Meeting

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After the House and Senate approved the procedural steps Wednesday afternoon, the four leaders of the General Assembly announced their picks for the panel that will try to forge a compromise to fix the pension programs, which have saddled the state with $97 billion in debt.

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The bipartisan committee of lawmakers tasked with fixing Illinois' $97 billion pension crisis will hold its first meeting next week.

The committee has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday morning downtown Chicago.

Gov. Pat Quinn called lawmakers back to Springfield for a special legislative session to address the pension shortfall.

But the House and Senate remained in a stalemate on how fix the problem. Lawmakers voted Wednesday to form the conference committee in hopes its 10 members will be able to come up with a compromise.

Legislative leaders appointed six Democrats and four Republicans to the committee.

Quinn wants them to report back July 9.

Illinois has the nation's worst state pension shortfall, due largely to lawmakers skipping or shorting its payments to public-employee retirement funds.

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