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Madigan says he's open to new pension deal

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's open to considering a new pension overhaul and is "anxious" to see legislation.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is backing a plan pushed by Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. It would give state workers and retirees a choice in retirement benefits. Rauner says it would save $1-billion annually.

Rauner called addressing Illinois' $111-billion pension debt "one of the most critical actions we can take" to save taxpayers money. He says his lawyers are working with Cullerton's staff to finalize legislation.

Cullerton proposed a similar plan several years ago. Madigan rejected that proposal in favor of legislation he sponsored that cut retirement benefits. The Illinois Supreme Court later found the measure unconstitutional.

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