Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers gave a preliminary nod to a money-saving move on Wednesday that would take away a big health care perk for retired government workers, part of a battle over cutting state pension costs.

The proposal by Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, moved to the House floor after getting approval from the Democrat-controlled Executive Committee. It could become a bargaining chip with a public-employee union angry over looming cuts to pension benefits, particularly because Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn asked lawmakers to adopt it as he negotiates a new contract, according to Madigan.

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