Quinn Signs Pension Reform Bill

Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday signed off on a law to crack down on pension abuses in an effort to prohibit city workers from future double-dipping.

Recent investigations found city workers were taking leaves of absence from their jobs and moving to full-time positions with their union, collecting pensions from both.

In another high-profile case, two lobbyists were able to get into the Illinois teachers' retirement system after substitute teaching for only a day.

"The pension abuses unearthed were flagrant," Quinn said Wednesday in a statement.

The legislation doesn't touch on controlling government pension costs, though.

The governor said this year that reaching an agreement to control costs would be "a major focus in 2012." Until then his top priority would be job creation. And cutting down on misuse.

""I'm pleased that the Legislature voted overwhelmingly to address this issue," he said of the newly signed bill. "We look forward to working together in 2012 to tackle the remaining pension challenges that face Illinois."

A government watchdog group reported last year that added pension and debt costs would swell the state government’s deficit to $5 billion by July and a total backlog closer to $8 billion.

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