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Reactions to Pension Bill Mixed

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Quinn calls bill's passage a win for the people of Illinois.

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Illinois Lawmakers Pass Pension Bill

Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill proposed to fund the state's $100 billion unfunded pension liability. Carol Marin has reaction.

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Gov. Pat Quinn was celebrating the passage of the pension bill Tuesday, referring to it as "landmark legislation."

Quinn has made pension reform a top priority for two years, but efforts had been unsuccessful including previous special sessions and a social media campaign. More recently, Quinn had refused to take a paycheck until lawmakers came up with a comprehensive solution.

When asked if he'll now collect his paychecks, he told reporters Tuesday that he hadn't thought about it yet.

Unions were opposed to the measure saying it's not constitutional, but Quinn says he thinks the bill will survive a court challenge.

"Today, we have won. The people of Illinois have won. This landmark legislation is a bipartisan solution that squarely addresses the most difficult fiscal issue Illinois has ever confronted," Quinn said.

Additional reactions among lawmakers and state officials were mixed:

"This is no victory for Illinois, but a dark day for its citizens and public servants." — We Are One Illinois coalition of unions representing public employees and retirees.
"We can't continue to be cemented into a stalemate. We cannot continue to be the embarrassment of the nation." — state Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago
"If this legislation is found unconstitutional. We're out on a perch." — state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale.
"The pension crisis is not truly solved until relief is brought to Chicago and all of the other local governments across our state that are standing on the brink of a fiscal cliff because of our pension liabilities." — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
"Litigation is inevitable, and I hope that the courts issue an expedited ruling as to the constitutionality of the legislation. The sooner the better, so we can move our great state forward." — Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
"This bill isn't perfect and it wasn't without compromise, but it was undoubtedly the right thing to do for the state and its citizens." — Ty Fahner, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
"The message is this is not a one-sided bill. There will be changes here, much-needed changes, but this bill is a well thought out, well balanced bill that deserves the support of this body, the state Senate and the approval of Gov. (Pat) Quinn." House Speaker Michael Madigan.
"My concerns with this bill, is that there hasn't been any transparency." state Sen. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington
"Manufacturers and businesses across the state needed a sign from Springfield that they are serious about turning the economic ship around in Illinois. This is a step in the right direction." — Greg Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association

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