State lawyers say pension overhaul law is justified

SPRINGFIELD - A lawsuit over the state's pension overhaul was responded to by the Illinois Attorney General Thursday.  

In court documents, lawyers argued the state's pension law "presents a valid exercise of ... sovereign powers to modify contractual rights and obligation."  Illinois lawyers also argue the reforms are justified because of financial problems and mounting debt.

Designed to close a $100 billion deficit in five state pension systems, the law was stopped from taking effect by a Sangamon County judge until the court can rule on its constitutionality.

Five lawsuits challenging the law were consolidated in Sangamon County court.  State employees and retirees claim the pension overhaul is unconstitutional, and that it would improperly reduce pension benefits they were promised.

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