Illinois Supreme Court could hear state pension case

SPRINGFIELD - A recent court ruling that bars health insurance premiums for state-employee retirees from increasing may help speed up a decision on a separate case that deals with Illinois' overhaul of its public pension system.

On Thursday, Sangamon County Judge Jon Belz said that he'd like to quickly move a challenge to the pension overhaul over to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Originally, litigants didn't think the pension case would be settled before 2015, but a July ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court declared that a law requiring retirees to pay more for health insurance was unconstitutional.

Now litigants want the state Supreme Court to decide if changes in conditions on retiree payments are constitutional, a decision that is at the heart of the pension challenge.

Illinois' pension overhaul was approved in December due to a $100 billion debt in five pension accounts.
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