Springfield….Following news on Friday morning that the Illinois Supreme Court has deemed SB 1 unconstitutional, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) says the unconstitutional nature of the previously passed law was never in question.
“During the last election, I said over and over again that the law that was passed was not constitutional,” Bryant said. “That’s why I opposed it at the time it was introduced, and I opposed it throughout the process until now. It has been widely known that this would happen, and today we’ve got a real confirmation.”
What comes next for Illinois pension reform is unknown for now. In addition to a FY 2016 budget shortfall of nearly $6 billion, and a bill backlog of $6 – $8 billion, Illinois also faces a nearly $100 billion pension liability. After today’s decision by the Illinois Supreme Court, Bryant says the political and legislative fight over pension reform will now have to begin all over again.
“Illinois faces many difficult challenges right now. Today’s decision will throw a gallon of gas on Illinois’ fiscal fire,” Bryant said. “It will only get more challenging to craft a responsible budget that preserves programs for the most vulnerable and provides for essential government services like public safety and transportation. One thing is clear though, that a diminishing of the pension benefits that public servants have earned cannot be a part of the mix”