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Quinn signs pension-reform bill in private ceremony

Illinois Gov. PQuinn smiles during signing pensioverhaul legislatibill Thursday Dec. 5 2013 Chicago. Looking from left are: Sen. Bill Brady

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Chicago. Looking on from left are: Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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Updated: December 6, 2013 8:27AM

SPRINGFIELD — In a private bill-signing ceremony, Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday quietly enacted a newly passed, $160 billion pension-reform package in a move certain to launch a lengthy round of litigation from labor unions challenging its constitutionality.

Quinn’s office announced his move in a prepared statement and without any of the fanfare that accompanied his signing last month of legislation legalizing same-sex marriages – an event staged at the UIC Forum before hundreds of gay and lesbian activists and with Quinn handing out dozens of ceremonial pens to mark the occasion.

“Illinois is moving forward,” Quinn said. “this is a serious solution to address the most dire fiscal challenge of our time.”

The muted way the governor enacted the pension bill undoubtedly is rooted in the political realities of his tenuous 2014 re-election bid, where he needs to make peace with the same public-employee labor unions whom he outraged with his stroke of the pen Thursday.

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