Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn pledged Tuesday to reform the public employee pension system "once and for all" this spring.
The Democratic governor said he's willing to take on the ailing program in a year when every seat in the Legislature is up for election because the state's contribution to five retirement plans is eating up more and more of the state budget.
The system is short about $85 billion what it will eventually need to cover all its liabilities. But repair could mean reducing benefits for state employees, something that's highly unpopular with powerful unions who contribute money to political campaigns…
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