Updated 5:39 p.m. with reporting from Brian Mackey.
The Illinois House approved a massive overhaul of state-employee pension systems on Thursday. It's a development that's been more than a year in the making.
Earlier this year, there was a pension measure that had just a single "yes" vote. That makes what happened with this latest proposal significant.
Today's measure received 62 "yes" votes, 51 "no" votes and two voting present. Having received the constitutional majority, it passed.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the ever-long list of vendors waiting on payments from the state means taxpayers have to pay interest and their money is being "flushed away."
That's according to a story posted online Sunday in the Rockford Register Star. The story is part of GateHouse newspapers' series on Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills.
The Illinois Senate has passed a pension overhaul, but it only affects suburban and downstate teachers. It doesn't touch state employees' and university workers' retirement benefits.
The measure was approved by the Illinois Senate and forces teachers to choose between taking a reduced pension, or retaining access to state-backed health care upon retirement.
It took two tries, passing only after Democratic Senator Dave Koehler of Peoria switched his vote.
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.