Plan ending free health insurance goes to Quinn

SPRINGFIELD, Ill (AP) - Longtime Illinois state employees could be on the verge of losing the free health insurance they get in retirement.

Legislation to end the benefit was approved 31-20 by the state Senate on Thursday. It now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who is pushing to cut retirement benefits.

Currently, people who spend 20 years working for the state don't have to pay health insurance premiums after retiring. Under the new plan, retirees would pay a premium based on their years working for the state and ability to pay.

Legislators called it a difficult move they needed to make if Illinois is going to repair unsustainable health care and pension systems

The bill is SB1313.

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