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Ill. Senate chief: pension plan needs closer look

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is concerned a new plan to fix the state's $95 billion pension problem may be unconstitutional.

A group of rank-and-file House lawmakers proposed the plan Wednesday.

It calls for workers to contribute more to their retirement and younger employees to work longer. It also reduces cost-of-living increases for retirees and shifts some costs for teacher pensions to school districts.

Cullerton says the plan appears to impose unilateral cuts to benefits, which he believes the Illinois Constitution prohibits.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz is one of the proposal's authors, and she says it remains to be seen how the Supreme Court would rule.

Nekritz also says a new provision to guarantee Illinois will meet its funding obligations may sway justices.

Cullerton says he'll take a closer look.

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