Stateline Superintendent Plaintiff in Lawsuit Contesting New Pension Law

Lawsuit filed late Friday claims pension reform law violates both letter and intent of Illinois Constitution
CHICAGO -- The first of what's anticipated to be several lawsuits challenging Illinois' new pension reform law has been filed by a group of current and former educators in Cook County. 

The lawsuit 'Heaton, et al vs. Quinn' claims that the new law violates a clause in the state Constitution which states that "Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State ... shall be an enforceable contractual realtionship, the beneftis of which shall not be diminished or impaired."  It also claims the intent of the lawmakers who passed the 1970 Constituional Amendment was clear, and that the new pension law violates that intent.

The lawsuit, as posted on the political website 'Reboot Illinois' (see link below), claims that changes to the pension system put in place by the new law, which includes changes to cost-of-living increases and raises the retirement retirement, age violate both the letter and the spirit of the Illinois Constitution.

Lawmakers who passed the law say they had little choice but to change benefits in the wake of a pension crisis which was putting the state deeper and deeper into debt.  The state's debt rating has been downgraded several time due to credit agencies concerns over the pension crisis, which is costing taxpayers millions each day.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Governor, who signed the bill into law in private, is Michael Schiffman, the current Superintendent of the Dakota School District in Stephenson County.  He is the only one of the eight plaintiffs with ties to the Stateline area.

Link to lawsuit:  http://www.rebootillinois.com/heaton-v.-quinn-active-and-retired-teachers-administrators-sue-to-overturn-pension-reform-law?utm_source=email&utm_medium=reboot-opinion-pensions-12/30/2013&utm_campaign=heaton-v.-quinn:-active-and-retired-teachers,-administr
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