The Massachusetts Senate approved an overhaul of the state’s pension system on Thursday after a debate that divided majority Democrats uneasy about offending their political base.

The bill, passed on a 24-10 vote, aimed to address the state’s $20 billion unfunded pension liability by raising retirement ages and reducing benefits for future employees to save $5 billion over 30 years.

According to the State House News Service, some Democratic senators emotionally urged colleagues not to pass the burden of pension system liabilities and debt onto future public employees.

Supporters of the measure said the $5 billion in projected savings from the pension system revisions were necessary to repair the state’s finances.

Fitch Ratings assigns a AA-plus rating to Massachusetts’ general obligation bonds. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s rate the credit Aa1 and AA, respectively.

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