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Unions target Senate Dems in pension reform battle

Published: Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 10:23 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' public unions are staging an all-out campaign to thwart approval of a new plan to solve the state's $100 billion pension crisis.

Union leaders oppose a reform plan unveiled last week that would save the state an estimated $160 billion over 30 years. They say it will rob state employees of retirement savings they were promised and worked years to earn.

All four state legislative leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn are working to secure support for the agreement, which could be voted on in Springfield as early as Tuesday.

The unions are specifically targeting Democratic senators from moderate, swing districts where election opponents can hammer them for inaction or being too tough on state workers. Union leaders say 8 to 10 lawmakers in the chamber are considered "persuadable."

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