Judge rejects Illinois pension reform law

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2014 3:16 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A judge on Friday ruled that an Illinois law aimed at easing the state's huge unfunded pension liability is unconstitutional, handing a victory to labor unions and state retirees who challenged the law.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz, who heard oral arguments for and against the state's pension reform law on Thursday, ruled that the law both diminishes and impairs retirement benefits for public sector workers in violation of a state constitution provision. The judge rejected the state's argument that its ability to invoke its sovereign powers in an emergency trumps protections in the state constitution for pensions.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog, editing by Matthew Lewis)