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Illinois House Panel Approves Pension Overhaul

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A plan to cut government pensions and shift some retirement costs to schools has cleared its first hurdle in the Illinois Legislature.  A House pension committee approved the bill 6-3 yesterday.  

The measure would reduce annual cost-of-living increases for public employees. It also gradually makes schools and universities pay the cost of retirement benefits for their employees.  Opponents argue schools would be stuck with a huge expense at a time when money is already tight.  But House Speaker Michael Madigan says the shift makes schools come up with money they promise to their employees.  

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