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Gov. Rauner proposes new Illinois pension overhaul he says would save more than $2 billion

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Gov. Bruce Rauner is proposing a new overhaul to Illinois' underfunded pension system that he says could save more than $2 billion.

The Republican delivered his budget speech Wednesday.

Rauner says reducing pension costs must be Illinois' top priority.

He wants to move workers to a less-generous pension plan lawmakers approved in 2010 for new hires. Workers hired before 2011 also could have the option of moving to a 401(k)-style plan. Police and firefighters could keep their current benefits.

Lawmakers passed a pension overhaul in 2013. But labor unions and retirees sued, arguing it was unconstitutional. The Illinois Supreme Court is considering the case.

Even if Rauner could get a new plan through the Legislature, it's unlikely savings would be realized in the next fiscal year because of legal challenges.

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