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Cullerton wants votes on pensions and gay marriage

FILE - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, center, is surrounded by his 
family while being sworn in as Senate President by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary 
Jane Theis, right, on Senate floor at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in 
Springfield Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
FILE - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, center, is surrounded by his family while being sworn in as Senate President by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis, right, on Senate floor at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Springfield Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Senate President John Cullerton wants to push forward with a pension overhaul "as quickly as possible" and says the timing is good to move forward with legalizing gay marriage.

He spoke to the City Club of Chicago on Monday, giving a slide-slow presentation on Illinois' financial problems.

The Chicago Democrat stressed the need for addressing Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem, which he says drains the state budget.

Cullerton introduced a bill after lawmakers were sworn in this month. Senate Bill 1 combines a Senate-approved measure along with a bill that failed to get a House roll-call.

He says he's working to get support. The Senate reconvenes next week.

Cullerton says Standard & Poor's recent credit rating downgrade should motivate lawmakers to act.

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The bill is SB 1.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov/

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