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Topinka: Pension Bill Has Promise

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CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s being hailed as one of the most workable solutions to the state’s $95 billion dollar pension mess, and it could get a vote this week.

It’s a bill drafted by freshman state senator Daniel Biss. The bill would cut the state’s pension obligation by nearly $30 billion dollars by a combination of cost of living adjustments and increases in employee pension contributions.

State Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka believes the bill has promise, but will have to stand up in the courts — where nearly any attempt at pension reform will land.

“Ultimately, whatever gets done is going to go in the courts. The courts will ultimately make the decision here. My feeling get something done so you can get it into court sooner rather than later, because you know it is going to go there,” said Topinka.

Topinka says the state is in danger of seeing its credit rating downgraded to junk status. Illinois’ credit status is now among the worst in the nation.