CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday said he is hoping rating agencies look favorably on pension reform legislation approved this week as the state seeks to fend off any further downgrades and improve its market image with three sales of $1.3 billion of general obligation bonds planned over the next month.

The reforms — which affect future employees — are estimated to save between $300 million and as much as $1 billion in fiscal 2011, and more than $100 billion through 2045 when the state is required to bring its pension funds up to a 90% funded ratio. The state closed fiscal 2009 with a $62.4 billion unfunded liability in its four retirement funds, a 51% funded ratio.

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