CHICAGO - Illinois finance officials are hoping to convince lawmakers to approve a $16 billion general obligation pension bond issue during the current legislative session in order to move quickly should market conditions prove ripe for the financing, a top fiscal aide to Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Monday.

Legislative authorization would put the state "in a position to be ready" to act fast, John Filan, the state's chief operating officer, said during a panel discussion on international demand for taxable municipal paper at The Bond Buyer's Other Post-Employment Benefits conference in Chicago Monday.

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