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GOP backs down on pension reform

PARTY ON Republicans for years have complained that union-friendly Democrats were stalling and avoiding comprehensive pension reform. But when the roll was called Tuesday in Springfield, Republicans couldn't muster majorities of their own members in either chamber. Our infographic shows the party-line vote. (With links to explain the weird politics of it all.)

BODY LANGUAGE We're not professional interpreters, but our translation of Republican Sen. Matt Murphy's body language to Senate desk-mate Kirk Dillard goes something like this: "Shut up already!" Again, weird politics. Don't miss this video.

NOT $100 BILLION... YET The latest official figures show the state's unfunded pension liability now stands at $97.5 billion. That's only a slight increase from last year. In Illinois, this passes for good news. Meanwhile, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall heaps praise on the newly passed pension bill, which should take a bite out of the new figure. More here.

BY THE NUMBERS Speaking of pension numbers, we've got them broken down in easy-to-digest graphic form right here.

4 D's, 3 R's, 1 BIG DECISION The financial future of Illinois very soon will be in the hands of the Illinois Supreme Court. Will they side with the unions who will sue over the pension reform bill or the (mostly) Democrats who passed it? You'll have a better guess after getting to know your Illinois Supreme Court justices in this infographic.

BIGGEST LOSER The Illinois Observer says GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner had the most to lose, and lost it, in Tuesday's pension vote. Find out why here.

TOP 5 We've got a handy round-up of all the pension reform analysis and commentary for you right here:

5. Opinion: A ruling in Detroit made on the same day pension reform passed in Illinois could have a big impact on Illinois’ and Chicago’s future. (Chicago Tribune)
4. Public employee unions are gearing up for a legal battle if Pat Quinn signs the pension deal into law. (State Journal-Register)
3. The Washington Post takes a look at the impact angry unions might have on Quinn’s reelection bid. (Washington Post)
2. The pension deal should be a cause for optimism for Illinois taxpayers. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
1. A report showed that Illinois’ unfunded pension liability rose only slightly in fiscal year 2013. (Reuters)

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