CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the sweeping overhaul of the state's pension system into law on Thursday, calling it a "serious solution to address the most dire fiscal challenge of our time." The legislation will soon face a legal challenge from unions.

Illinois lawmakers ended two years of political gridlock on Tuesday when, in a bipartisan vote, they passed a plan backers say will trim $160 billion off scheduled payments to the system, about $21 billion off $100.5 billion of unfunded liabilities, and $1.5 billion off upcoming annual state contributions.

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