CHICAGO - In a private ceremony Thursday, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law SB 1, setting into motion a pension reform plan that legislative leaders of both parties say will save the state $160 billion.
The changes will take effect June 1, 2014, the law says, however, union officials promise to take the changes to court.
House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) took credit for the bill's passage, admitting the state finances are in dire straits.
"It's the right thing to do, a long time in coming," Madigan (to the right of Governor Quinn in photo) told reporters after the signing. "There's plenty of congratulations that should be spread around to the people that were willing to take a tough vote but to do the right thing for the fiscal stability of the state ... It's a lot better than bankruptcy."
The bill had bipartisan support in both legislative chambers.