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Court favors state in retiree health costs case

Tue, 19 Mar 2013 21:40:50 CDT
By: AP

A Sangamon County judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a state law that eliminates free or reduced-cost health insurance for retirees of Illinois state government jobs. Associate Circuit Judge Steve Nardulli found that the law does not violate the state Constitution protecting pension benefits because health care is not considered a pension benefit. He says four plaintiffs who sued do not have a contractual interest in free health insurance or that the state violated any contract. He also rejected other claimed constitutional violations. Retired state appellate court justice Gordon Maag filed the lawsuit last summer after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law requiring retired state employees, lawmakers and judges to start paying premiums. His action was consolidated with those of three other plaintiffs.

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