Illinois to Find another Way to Fix Government-employee Pension Crisis

On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court said that ruling lawmakers have broke the line by coming up with a law that slashed retirement benefits to face a budget deficit. Now, the court has asked the lawmakers to come up with a new way to solve the nation's government-employee pension crisis.

Seven justices have taken the decision. They have stated that the measure signed by former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn 18 months back does not go with the state constitution, as it would not be able to fulfill pension promises.

Yet again, the state has grapple with a $111 billion deficit. Experts affirmed that the gap is so wide that the state had to keep up to $7 billion in reserve to keep pace. Justice Lloyd Karmeier said harsh words for the General Assembly.

Karmeier wrote the court's opinion referring the General Assembly, "may find itself in crisis, but it is a crisis which other public pension systems managed to avoid and ... it is a crisis for which the General Assembly itself is largely responsible".

Owing to the Great Recession, many states have faced the same public employee pension crisis, but they have taken steps to solve the problem. However, such was not the case with Illinois. Karmeier added that state lawmakers could have levied additional tax revenue, but they did not take such measures.

Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet affirmed that the General Assembly, Gov. [Bruce] Rauner and members of the pensions plans now have the opportunity to work in union and come up with a pension reform that is fair, sustainable and constitutional. He suggested that the members should take this measure for everyone good in Illinois.

The Supreme Court's ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by retired employees, state-worker labor unions and others.