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Court Challenge to Illinois Pension Reform

Illinois labor unions have filed a lawsuit seeking a new plan to reduce the state's $100 billion pension shortfall declared unconstitutional.

The We Are One Illinois Coalition of public employee unions filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Sangamon County Circuit court.

The long-anticipated legal challenge comes weeks after Governor Pat Quinn signed the measure into law and ahead of his annual State of the State address.

The bill approved by the Legislature in early December saves an estimated $160 billion, largely by cutting benefits for employees and retirees.

Unions contend it violates the state constitution, which says benefits may not be diminished.

Several other lawsuits have been filed on behalf of retirees.

Supporters of the plan believe the Court will uphold it because it's necessary to repair the state's finances.