A Sangamon County judge has stopped Illinois' state pension overhaul law from taking effect until the court can rule on its constitutionality. The law was supposed to go in force this summer. The overhaul was designed to close a $100 billion deficit in five state pension systems. It was signed into law last fall. Five lawsuits challenging the measure were consolidated in Sangamon County court. State employees and retirees claim the law improperly reduces promised benefits. Judge John Belz says there is great confusion about the law and retirees need to know the standard of living they can expect. The case is likely to end up with the State Supreme Court.
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