The Illinois Supreme Court has ordered four lawsuits challenging Illinois' new pension reform law be consolidated. Today's order transfers the case filed by a group of retired teachers in Cook County Circuit Court to Sangamon County Circuit Court, where the three other cases were filed. The court says all of the cases will be heard together in Springfield. Each of the groups' lawsuits share the common claim that the new pension reform plan violates the state constitution, which says benefits may not be diminished or impaired. Illinois' five public-retirement systems had a $100 billion unfunded liability when the Legislature passed the pension reform measure in December. The bill saves an estimated $145 billion, largely by cutting benefits for employees and retirees.
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