Gov. Quinn glad Civic Committee sounded Illinois pension alarm - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Gov. Quinn glad Civic Committee sounded Illinois pension alarm

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A spokesman says Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is happy an influential business group will help "sound the alarm" on pension reform.

The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago released a memo Wednesday that the public-employee pension system is "unfixable." The system is underfunded by $96 billion.

SEE: Civic Committee calls Ill. pension system 'unfixable'

"I really feel like if we put our best efforts together in a bi-partisan way between now and the 9th of January - which is the end of the legislative system - we can accomplish this important mission," State Rep. Tom Cross said. "We need to fix it. I think the sooner the better - in a bi-partisan, collaborative manner."

It also sent the Democratic governor a sharply worded letter about inaction in the Capitol. But Quinn spokesman Abdon Pallasch welcomed committee pressure on legislators to keep the program afloat.

The Civic Committee says the state also needs to increase the retirement age to 67, and annual cost of living increases need to be eliminated. They also said proposals in the General Assembly are insufficient.

Pensioners get 3% a year currently, compounded annually. The public employees union AFSCME says they'll sue if any of these proposals pass.

The "We Are One Illinois" coalition of labor unions opposing pension cuts criticized the memo for not demanding a requirement that the state pay its fair share to pension programs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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