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(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois, a state with a reputation for political wheeling and dealing, backroom handshakes and 11th-hour bargains, is dragging its feet on the one deal needed to solve its biggest crisis in a generation.

Lawmakers will convene again the first week in January in hopes of fixing the nation’s worst case of underfunding state employees’ pensions, a problem approaching $100 billion and mounting by $17 million per day. On the table are solutions that other states adopted as long as five years ago.

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