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Experts: Illinois' pension reform could face problems in court

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - With the fight over solving Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall moving to the courts, the state faces a grim possibility: The plan could be tossed, and Illinois could wind up in an even deeper fiscal hole.

Lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday that they say eliminates the $100 billion unfunded pension liability, largely by cutting benefits.

Labor unions say it's unconstitutional and plan to sue once Gov. Pat Quinn signs it.

Court rulings on similar cases elsewhere have varied.

A bankruptcy judge in Detroit said Tuesday that city pensions can be cut.

But in Arizona a court said asking employees to contribute more to their retirement was illegal and made the state repay workers, with interest.

Experts say that could happen in Illinois, which has some of the country's stronger pension protections.

 

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