Sang. Co. Judge Tosses Retiree Health Premium Suits

Judge Steve Nardulli dismissed 4 lawsuits challenging the state’s recent law that orders retirees with 20 years of experience or more to pay for health care.  The judge ruled the benefit was separate from employee pensions that are protected under the state constitution.

The state has yet to set premium rates for retirees.  Other lawsuits that also challenge the law are pending:

Senate President John J. Cullerton released the following statement:

“The real impact of this ruling is that it reinforces my position that a guarantee of health care access can be negotiated as part of a contractual change to protected pension benefits. Only the benefits found in the Illinois Pension Code are protected by the Pension Clause.

Pension reform is my top priority. While I acknowledge that there are a number of ways to structure a bill, I believe that a reform based on contractual principles of offer, consideration and acceptance is the best way to ensure that the legislation is upheld in court.  I will continue to advocate that giving state employees and retirees a choice between cost of living allowances and access to health care is the best way forward”.

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