Judge Halts Illinois Pension Overhaul

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A Sangamon County judge has stopped Illinois' state pension overhaul law from taking effect until the court can rule on its constitutionality.

Two lawyers representing plaintiffs in the case say that Circuit Judge Jon Belz issued the order Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn says his office was informed of the order.

The law now cannot take effect this summer as intended until there's a court ruling on its constitutionality.

The overhaul was designed to close a $100 billion deficit in five state pension systems. It was signed into law last fall.

Five lawsuits challenging the law were consolidated in Sangamon County court. State employees and retirees claim the law is unconstitutional. They say it would improperly reduce pension benefits they were promised.


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