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Ill. Senate President Cullerton calls pension ruling ‘victory’

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ Senate president says the state must act to adopt “true reforms” now that the state Supreme Court threw out a landmark 2013 pension overhaul law.

Chicago Democrat John Cullerton called the court ruling a “victory” for retirees and public employees who would have lost benefits under the law. But he says the victory must be “balanced against the grave financial realities we will continue to face.”

The seven-member court ruled unanimously Friday that the 2013 law violates the Illinois Constitution, which prohibits pension benefits from being “diminished or impaired.”

Cullerton previously had expressed concern that the plan was unconstitutional.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman says the speaker will consider the court’s ruling as the General Assembly continues to work on a solution to the state’s pension crisis.

Pension Decision