The Illinois Senate has approved a plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion pension shortfall, considered the worst in the nation.
The Senate voted 30-24 Tuesday in favor of the plan, and the House continued to deliberate. If it passes the House, it will then go to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he will sign it.
Lawmakers in the two Democrat-controlled chambers took up the plan after years of inaction on a problem that other states have addressed. It has damaged Illinois' credit rating and diverted key funds from schools and social service agencies.
Legislative leaders say the plan would save the state $160 billion over 30 years by cutting retirement benefits for hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees.
Labor unions oppose the measure and say they plan to file a lawsuit arguing it's unconstitutional.
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