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Pension panel to further study universities' plan

CHICAGO (AP) — The leaders of a legislative committee working to forge a compromise on Illinois' $97 billion pension crisis say they want to further study a plan proposed by college and universities.

The proposal requires employees to pay more toward their retirement benefits and ties annual cost-of-living increases to inflation.

Sen. Kwame Raoul is the chairman of the 10-member bipartisan pension committee.

He said Wednesday the plan is "an attractive framework" for reform that could be applied to other public-employee retirement systems. Committee Vice Chairwoman Rep. Elaine Nekritz agreed.

Illinois has the nation's worst state pension shortfall. Lawmakers voted last month to form the committee after it became clear they'd reached a stalemate on how to address the problem.

A third public hearing is scheduled for Monday in Springfield.

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