Illinois Supreme Court Overturns Pension Law

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SPRINGFIELD - The state's financial struggles are well known.

From the billions of dollars of debt to the nation's lowest credit rating to the  massive pension backlog, Illinois' financial issues are staggering.

On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court found a 2013 pension law to be unconstitutional, stating that a provision was in place to prevent diminishment of benefits.

While some groups are happy with the ruling there are others, like the Illinois Policy Institute, that are not.

"The decision we heard today was pretty stunning.  The state court basically said the number one priority of government is to pay the retirement of who are no longer working for government.  The number one priority isn't taking care of the poor or disadvantaged.  It isn't taking care of government services.  The number one priority is pensions," said Illinois Policy Institute executive vice president Kristina Rasmussen.

The decision was seen as a bright spot for many unions, like the Illinois Education Association, said they feel Friday's decision is a victory for workers.

"We felt that it was unconstitutional, diminishing benefits for people who are public service workers who most of us don't have social security.  And so this is their retirement income," said Cinda Klickna, IEA President.

Klickna added she expects Speaker of the House Michael Madigan to write legislation creating a constitutional amendment to change the law, and that she anticipates groups will oppose that as well.
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