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Another Tough Budget for Illinois

Brian Mackey

Money will likely be tight for politicians crafting Illinois’ next budget, despite a pension law that's supposed to save $160 billion.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has made it clear that Governor Pat Quinn should not factor in the pension law's savings when he introduces a new spending plan because he expects the courts to order a stay. 

“So all of the changes that will bring on cost savings just won't go into operation, until we get an order from the Supreme Court,” Madigan said.

Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who is seeking his party’s nomination for governor, concurred.

“As a prudent steward of state resources, I would be very hesitant on booking these savings until the final disposition of it is known,” said Rutherford.

Two lawsuits have already been filed and more are expected.

Unions have said the law contradicts a clause in the state constitution that says pension benefits shall not be diminished.