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Encouraging development in pension lawsuit

Circuit Court Judge John Belz signaled today that our We Are One Illinois coalition lawsuit to overturn pension-slashing SB 1 may move at a more swift pace than originally expected.
The Quad-City Times reported:

Belz told attorneys gathered for a hearing Thursday that the court's decision in the health insurance case was like "an elephant in the room."

"I can't stick my head in sand and act like it isn't there," Belz said.

When Belz and attorneys initially were laying out a schedule for the case, it was not expected to be resolved at the lower court level until sometime in 2015.

Now, with the health insurance case providing a path, Belz said he would like to move the case to the Supreme Court quickly.

“The faster we can move this along within reason, the better.”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs asserted today that the court should expedite the case against pension-slashing SB 1 in light of the recent Kanerva v. Weems decision. That decision makes it clear that the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution is absolute and without exception, arguably rendering a long and extensive discovery process unnecessary in the SB 1 case.
The hearing was the result of a motion filed in August by We Are One and other plaintiffs.
The IFT has been heavily involved in these lawsuits on behalf of our members. Following the hearing, our coalition issued the following statement:

“Our members had an encouraging day in court, and we’re hopeful that this will be resolved soon in our favor. The Kanerva decision confirmed our long held belief that the pension protection clause of the constitution is absolute and without exception.”
The judge gave the state until October 3 to present its response to the court. The next status hearing will be held on October 8. For the latest news, check the IFT Pension Watch Blog and register your personal email address with the IFT today.




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