UPDATE: Unions Vow to Challenge New Illinois Pension Law

Attendees: Ill. pension bill signing was somber

   CHICAGO (AP) -- Lawmakers inside a private event where Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark pension reform into law say the mood was somber.
   Less than one dozen people attended Thursday's ceremony.
   The legislation aims to solve the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis. The plan calls for cutting benefits for current employees and retirees and is estimated to save $160 billion over thirty years.
   In a statement, Quinn says Illinois is moving forward and this is the way to address the most dire fiscal challenge.
   Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin told reporters after the signing that it was a difficult position to be in with few options.
   House Speaker Michael Madigan says that it's the right thing to do and better than facing bankruptcy.
   The bill is SB1

CHICAGO (AP) -- A coalition of unions opposed to Illinois' newly-signed pension overhaul has directed attorneys to prepare a court challenge.

The We Are One Illinois coalition said in a statement that attorneys were directed Thursday to prepare a lawsuit challenging the new law's constitutionality. The statement came the same day that Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law at a private event in Chicago.

The legislation emerged after months of negotiation over ways to address Illinois' $100 billion pension problem.

It calls for raising the retirement age for some, among other things. The new law is estimated to save roughly $160 billion over three decades.

However, legal challenges are expected. The coalition says it's an unfair law.
The bill is SB1
Online: www.ilga.gov

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law a landmark overhaul aimed at fixing Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

The law reducing retirement benefits for state employees takes effect in June, but court challenges are expected. Several unions have called the benefit cuts unconstitutional.

Illinois' unfunded pension system is considered the worst in the nation after lawmakers skipped or shorted payments for years.

The legislation was unveiled last week and is expected to save $160 billion over three decades.

Among other things, the plan signed into law Thursday pushes back the retirement age on a sliding scale for those 45 and younger. It also caps the salary on which a pension benefit is based and lowers the employee contribution.
The bill is SB1
Online: www.ilga.gov

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