News Local/State

Ruling On Pension Suit Could Take Five Months Or More


It could be December before a judge decides on the legality of Illinois' pension overhaul law for at least another five months.  Attorneys met Thursday in Sangamon County Court and agreed on a timeline for the case.

Current and retired state employees, teachers and university workers are suing Governor Pat Quinn over the pension overhaul passed by the General Assembly late last year. 

Though it was to have already begun taking effect, a judge has put it on hold until its legality is sorted out in court. 

According to the schedule attorneys have agreed to, that could take five months - or longer.

While the state has argued the law is necessary given Illinois' fiscal 'crisis,' Aaron Maduff, an attorney for the state's retired university employees, says that won't hold up.

"The pension protection clause is not subject to a police powers defense at all and the state can come in and complain that the state is totally bankrupt, and they still can't do what they're doing under the constitution," he said.

The law reduces retirees' benefits, requires current state employees to work longer until they can retire, and has them put less of their paychecks into their pension.