Karen's Feed
Dec 16, 2014

Unions, retirees sue to block Chicago pension changes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A group of Chicago labor unions and
retirees filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to void an Illinois
law aimed at shoring up funding for two of the city’s public
pension systems.

The plaintiffs, who include the Chicago Teachers Union and
the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Council 31, contend the law, enacted in June, violates the
Illinois Constitution by reducing pension benefits for workers
and retirees in Chicago’s Municipal Employees Annuity and
Benefit Fund.

Dec 10, 2014

Illinois Supreme Court speeds up pension reform law appeal

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday
fast-tracked the state’s appeal of a trial court ruling that
found a new law aimed at easing the state’s huge pension burden
unconstitutional.

The court ordered public labor unions and retiree groups
challenging the law and the state to file their briefs in
January and February with oral arguments to be scheduled in
March. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had asked the
court last week to speed up the appeal process.

Dec 9, 2014

Opponents of Illinois pension reform law fight fast-track appeal

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Public labor unions and others
challenging a 2013 law aimed at easing Illinois’ pension burden
objected on Tuesday to a fast-tracking of the state’s appeal of
a lower court’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

State Attorney General Lisa Madigan last week asked the
Illinois Supreme Court to speed up the appeal of Sangamon County
Court Judge John Belz’s Nov. 21 ruling, requesting oral
arguments as soon as Jan. 22 and no later than March 10.

Nov 21, 2014

Illinois pension reform law tossed by state judge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A judge ruled on Friday that an Illinois law aimed at easing the state’s huge unfunded pension liability is unconstitutional, handing a victory to labor unions and state retirees who challenged the law and an initial defeat to the state’s efforts to fix its sagging finances.

The judge’s sweeping ruling will send the case to the Illinois Supreme Court for a final determination on the law’s constitutionality. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which is defending the law, said it will ask the high court for an expedited appeal.

Nov 20, 2014

Judge to hear arguments over Illinois pension reform law

CHICAGO, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Illinois faces an uphill battle
to defend on Thursday the constitutionality of a law aimed at
easing the state’s huge unfunded pension liability.

Lawyers for the state will try to convince a judge in state
capital Springfield that the law is crucial to save the state’s
sinking finances. Attorneys for public labor unions and others
will argue the law is invalid because it trounces on state
constitutional protections for public worker retirement
benefits.

Nov 5, 2014

New Illinois governor faces full plate of fiscal problems

CHICAGO, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Illinois’ newly elected
Republican governor will need to navigate fixes for the state’s
fiscal woes through a Democrat-controlled legislature or risk
seeing the state’s credit ratings fall and bond yields rise,
municipal analysts said on Wednesday.

Wealthy businessman and first-time candidate Bruce Rauner
beat incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in Tuesday’s
election, though Quinn waited to concede until Wednesday
afternoon after a full vote count was completed.

Nov 5, 2014

Republicans gain in U.S. state legislative elections

CHICAGO, Nov 5 (Reuters) – The Republican wave that hit the
U.S. Congress in Tuesday’s mid-term election also boosted the
party in state legislative races where it gained control of at
least three chambers.

Democrats lost their majorities in the Nevada Senate,
Minnesota House and West Virginia House to Republicans, who were
also poised to take over the New Hampshire House, according to
the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Oct 31, 2014

Testy Illinois governor race holds no cure for state finances

CHICAGO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Whichever candidate wins the
pitched battle for Illinois governor on Tuesday faces the
prospect that the state supreme court next year could toss
hard-fought changes to the woefully underfunded state pension
system.

Neither incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn nor wealthy
Republican private equity investor Bruce Rauner has revealed a
workable “Plan B” to strengthen the pension system, the most
underfunded of any U.S. state.

Oct 22, 2014

Detroit can survive after bankruptcy but large risks loom: expert

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit’s relatively fast move through municipal bankruptcy has resulted in costly creditor settlements and too little emphasis on fixing the city’s broken operations, a restructuring expert testified in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday.

Still, Martha Kopacz, who was appointed by Judge Steven Rhodes to assess the viability of Detroit’s plan to restructure $18 billion of debt and obligations, concluded the plan is feasible and that its underlying revenue and other assumptions are reasonable.

Oct 21, 2014

Judge drops hints as Detroit bankruptcy case nears finish line

DETROIT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. judge overseeing
Detroit’s historic bankruptcy dropped hints on Tuesday on what
he wants to hear in the city’s closing statements and what he
may be scrutinizing in creditor settlements.

The city’s emergency manager also testified in federal court
on Tuesday that a recent settlement with the last major holdout
creditor was important to keeping elements of Detroit’s debt
adjustment plan together.