Lawyers contesting Illinois pension law seek extension

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lawyers contesting the Illinois law that overhauls a state pension program that is $111 billion in debt are asking the Supreme Court for an extra month to file arguments. WUIS-FM radio in Springfield reports that attorneys for state employees, retired teachers and others who contest the constitutionality of the law say they need until March 16. The high court agreed in December to fast-track the appeal of a lower court’s ruling. The state argued earlier this month that in a crisis, officials may use “police powers” to fix a problem. John Fitzgerald is a plaintiff’s lawyer. He says there are new arguments that need evaluation. Lawmakers changed the law in 2013 to reduce benefits and raise the retirement age designed to reduce the monstrous fiscal hole.