‘Impairing State Contractual Commitments – How Sacred Should Contracts Be?’

“In early May, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 2013 state pension reform law. That statute reduced various public pension benefits in an effort to reduce overwhelming debt in the public pension system. The Court affirmed a lower court ruling that the bill violated the pension protection clause in the Illinois state constitution, which provides that ‘Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired’. The Court read the clause to prevent the legislature from any downward revision of a public employee’s pension benefits after the first day of her employment … ” (more)

[Aditi Bagchi, New Private Law, 22 July]

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