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Judge puts Ill. pension reform law on hold until constitutionality decided


A Sangamon County Circuit Court judge on Wednesday granted “a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction” on Illinois' pension reform law passed last year, according to a news release from We Are One Illinois, one of several organizations contesting the constitutionality of the law.

“This is an important first step in our efforts to overturn this unfair, unconstitutional law and to protect retirement security for working and retired families,” said Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, in the release. “We are pleased the court prudently chose to halt implementation of these sweeping changes, which have caused so much fear and uncertainty, and are likely to be overturned.”

The Illinois Supreme Court in March consolidated four lawsuits from employee and retiree organizations challenging the constitutionality of the law within the circuit court of Sangamon County.

The consolidated lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of reforms passed by the General Assembly on Dec. 3, aimed at saving $160 billion over the next 30 years, arguing the law violates the Illinois Constitution, which states pension benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired.”

A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn could not be reached immediately.

Meaghan Kilroy writes for Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Business Insurance.