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State

Senate rejects cost-shift plan for higher ed

SPRINGFIELD – The Senate has rejected a proposal requiring state universities and community colleges to gradually pick up pension costs.

Senators voted 21-33 late Friday.

The proposal said public institutions of higher education would pay a half of 1 percent of payroll costs into the pension system annually. They'd start paying in fiscal year 2015.

Illinois currently pays retirement costs for universities and most local school districts. Illinois universities and community colleges agreed to pick up costs earlier this month. Lawmakers didn't attempt to extend that idea to local school districts.

Sponsor Sen. Daniel Biss said it was a small piece of reform but it would help. Opponents argued it'd raise tuition.

Lawmakers adjourned without tackling any major overhauls to the state's nearly $100 billion pension problem.

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The bill is SB1687.

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