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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.

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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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