Lawyers ask for extension in Illinois pension law case

UPDATE:  The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected lawyers' requests to have more time in filing arguments.  Officials say the motion was denied because the court had already agreed to expedite its ruling.  The case is scheduled to be heard in March.

SPRINGFIELD - Lawyers who oppose Illinois' state pension overhaul law have asked the Illinois Supreme Court for more time to file arguments.

The attorneys, who represent groups that contest the constitutionality of the pension overhaul law, say they will need until March 16 to file arguments.  According to lawyer John Fitzgerald, there are new arguments that need evaluation.

In 2013, state lawmakers approved a measure that reduces benefits and raises the retirement age in an attempt to shrink a $111 billion shortfall in Illinois' pension system.  In December, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to a request to fast-track the appeal of a lower court's ruling that the new law is unconstitutional.  Officials argued against the ruling, saying in times of crisis the state can use "police powers" to fix a problem.

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