CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law pension reforms aimed at fixing some loopholes in the system.
The law takes effect immediately. It aims to end the practice of so-called double dipping for public employees.
In some cases, employees took leaves to work for their unions but continued to build benefits in government pension systems based on union pay.
The law also closes a loophole made possible by a 2007 law that allowed two lobbyists for the Illinois Federation of Teachers to qualify for teachers' retirement benefits by spending a single day teaching.
Quinn signed the bill Thursday.
Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross was a sponsor of the bill. He says the law means that pension abuses can't run rampant.
The law doesn't address Illinois' grossly underfunded pension system.
For that reason, watchdogs say the law doesn't go far enough.
"It will leave that state of Illinois with $85 billion in unfunded promises," said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. "It does not address the elephant in the living room for the state of Illinois: How are we going to fund this pension program and keep it from becoming insolvent?"
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