WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Legal Setback for Illinois Pension Reform

May 14, 2014

A judge has blocked the Illinois pension overhaul from taking effect next month.

The ruling is a temporary victory for government employees who say the law is unconstitutional. The changes were made as part of a sweeping pension overhaul passed late last year.

That legal challenge is still ongoing so -- for now -- a judge granted a request to delay the law.

Sangamon County Judge John Belz said there's "almost across the board" confusion about the measure.  Belz said retirees need to know what standard of living they should expect.

Attorney John Myers, who represents retired state workers, applauded the ruling.

"My folks, who would start losing benefits January 1, now will not lose those benefits.  That's important to a lot of them.  I mean, a lot of those folks, that's their sole source of income,” said Myers.

He said the ruling is a hopeful sign that eventually the entire law will be thrown out.

But there's a long way to go and the case is ultimately expected to go before the Illinois Supreme Court.