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updated: 5/15/2014 5:07 PM

Fitch Ratings says pension lawsuit action not a concern

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- A major credit-rating house says a hold on a lawsuit involving Illinois' pension overhaul is not cause for concern.

Fitch Ratings issued a statement Thursday saying experts expected a strong legal challenge to the overhaul that became law last fall. And it pointed out that no one is counting on savings from the bill any time soon. A Sangamon County judge issued a stay Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by unions, state employees and retirees challenging the constitutionality of the deal. It aims to close a $100 billion budget gap in five pension systems but cuts benefits to retirees and increases employees' contributions.

Fitch rates Illinois' credit as the lowest of any state in the nation.

Fitch says pension overhaul is positive but that Illinois constitutional pension-benefit protections are strong.

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