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Ill. Senate Approves Cook County Pension Changes

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers have quickly advanced a plan to overhaul Cook County’s pension system by increasing county payments and reducing some benefits for employees.

The Senate voted 36-16 on Tuesday to approve the changes that Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle says are necessary to keep the retirement system from dissolving in a couple of decades.

The measure calls for a roughly $145 million increase in the county’s payment in 2016. The proposal would increase the retirement age, contributions, and change the cost-of-living adjustments. It resulted from negotiations between county leaders and some unions. One labor group says it may sue over the changes.

Republicans who oppose the proposal say it will lead to property tax increases.

The measure now moves to the House.

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