CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn's office has expressed confidence that a new plan to reduce the state's $100 billion pension shortfall will survive legal challenges.
The Friday statement was a response to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court seeking to have the plan declared unconstitutional. It was filed Friday on behalf of a group of administrators and retired teachers
Quinn's office says it expects what it calls "this landmark reform" to be "upheld as constitutional."
It also contends the plan is "as constitutionally sound as it is urgently needed to resolve the...pension crisis."
The plan is estimated to save the state $160 billion, largely by cutting benefits for employees and retirees. The lawsuit says it violates a provision of the Illinois Constitution that says pension benefits may not be diminished.
Eight former teachers and administrators filed the lawsuit Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.
The long-anticipated legal challenge comes less than a month after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure into law.
The plan is estimated to save the state $160 billion, largely by cutting benefits for employees and retirees.
Opponents say it violates a provision of the Illinois Constitution that says pension benefits may not be diminished.
Quinn and other supporters of the plan believe the Illinois Supreme Court will uphold it. They say that's because the law is necessary to repair the state's finances and ensure retirement funds remain solvent.