Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) – More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.

The group meets Monday. They say pension problems are “choking local government budgets” and warn some communities will have to raise property taxes or cut essential services to cover pension obligations. Those service cuts could include laying off firefighters.

The effort comes as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel waits for if Pat Quinn will sign legislation overhauling two city pension funds.

Emanuel’s plan reduces a $9 billion shortfall in funds covering 57,000 current and retired municipal workers and laborers. It cuts benefits and increases city and employee contributions.

He wants the city’s additional contributions to come from a property tax increase.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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