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updated: 6/27/2013 7:27 AM

Caterpillar CEO: Call lawmakers on pension mess

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  • Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Douglas R. Oberhelman delivers the keynote address to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce annual meeting & business leaders luncheon in Chicago, Wednesday.

      Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Douglas R. Oberhelman delivers the keynote address to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce annual meeting & business leaders luncheon in Chicago, Wednesday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman wants Illinois' business leaders to pressure lawmakers to address the state's $97 billion pension crisis.

Oberhelman told business leaders Wednesday at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting that the pension system is in deep trouble. According to a copy of his speech he said lawmakers frequently hear labor unions' views on pensions but seldom hear directly from owners and executives.

Illinois has the country's worst pension shortfall. The situation has led credit-rating agencies to downgrade lower Illinois' credit rating to the lowest of any state.

A special legislative session on the pension problem this month ended with the appointment of a committee to look at the issue. The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday.

Oberhelman also called for what he called "common sense" immigration reform.

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