Madigan to appeal public pension ruling

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she plans to immediately appeal a recent ruling that struck down a public pension overhaul law as unconstitutional.

On Friday, a Sangamon County circuit judge ruled the pension law as unconstitutional.  In response, Madigan announced Monday that she is planning an "immediate" appeal, and will request an expedited hearing by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The law was written to close a $100 billion shortfall in the state's five public retirement systems.  Under the law, employee contributions are lowered, but so are retiree's benefits.

State employees argue that Illinois' Constitution prohibits benefit reductions.  However, the state says it has the power to take extraordinary steps in times of crisis.

According to Madigan, a ruling could come by January if the Illinois Supreme Court agrees to an expedited hearing.
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