Lawmakers Weigh In On Challenge to Pension Lawsuit

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A legal challenge to the Illinois’ pension reform bill doesn't come as a surprise to some of the lawmakers who voted for it.

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-35th) and State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-34th) say a lawsuit challenge the pension reform law was a possibility after it was passed in early December. The measure scales back the 3% cost of living adjustments for current and retired teachers. They're the ones who filed this suit, saying it’s unconstitutional to change pension benefits. The change would save the state $160 billion over thirty years. Some of our local lawmakers say they don't agree with all that is in the bill but say falling to pass any reform was irresponsible.

"Everyone gets the pension they were promised. What’s not going to happen is they're not going to get their increase in their pension every year as big as what they had anticipated. So the pension is going to grow every year, but its not going to grow as fast as what was projected," says State Senator Dave Syverson (R-35th).

The bill also affects pension benefits for university workers, state employees, and members of the General Assembly. It's supposed to take effect in June 2014 but the legal challenge over the law could stretch out 6 months to a year.

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