Illinois Supreme Court to hear Chicago pensions case

Mayor Rahm Emanuel comments for the first time about last week's court ruling that called Chicago pension law "unconstitutional." (WLS)

The Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in November on Chicago's year-old pension law.

Orders entered Thursday set an expedited schedule with briefs due over the next three months.

The overhaul approved by Illinois lawmakers sought to eliminate more than $9 billion in unfunded pension liability by cutting benefits and increasing contributions. It would affect about 61,000 city employees and retirees.

A group of workers, retirees and labor unions sued, saying the law violated a clause of the Illinois constitution that says pension benefits can't be reduced. Last month a Cook County judge ruled the law was unconstitutional.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has argued that without the overhaul, the funds will be insolvent within years.

Chicago has the worst-funded pension systems of any major American city.
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