CHICAGO - Chicago, Cook County, and five other local governments entered fiscal 2008 with $17.1 billion of unfunded pension liabilities, leaving them poorly positioned to cope with the steep losses of last year due to the market's crash, a local government watchdog group warned yesterday.

The report from the Civic Federation of Chicago on the status of Chicago's four pension funds and those for Cook County, the county's Forest Preserve District, Chicago school teachers, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago Park District, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District found their unfunded liabilities more than tripled over the last decade.

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