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Quinn: Pensions are 'toughest of issues'

Caption
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in Springfield Ill. Standing behind Quinn is Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, right. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is telling lawmakers that they hold the solution to solving the state's fiscal crisis, particularly Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

The Chicago Democrat says it's hard but not impossible.

He spoke to lawmakers during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday.

Quinn put his support behind Senate Bill 1, which was measure introduced last month. It includes parts of a Senate-approved measure along with the increased contributions and reduced benefits in the bill that failed to get a House vote. It's sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton.

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability and Quinn called it the "toughest of issues" in the state.

However, he only made scattered references throughout his speech to the problem.

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