Local leaders react to Illinois Supreme Court pension decision

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday that a 2013 pension law that would have cut state workers' and teachers' retirement benefits is unconstitutional.

Here's how suburban teachers and union leaders, state lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner reacted.

"I am not surprised by the ruling. We said all along that we felt it was unconstitutional."

- Elgin Teachers Association President Kathryn Castle

"On one hand, I am very pleased that the Supreme Court upheld what is clearly stated in our Constitution. However, I'm also quite angry as a citizen that a separate bill in 2013 that could have made great gains at fixing our financial crisis had passed the Senate, but wasn't even called for a vote on the House floor."

- Addison High School English Teacher Steve Bruns

"We are now going to be facing this problem for the next 50 years. And that makes me sad for Illinois."

- State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat

"I respect the Illinois Supreme Court, but disagree with the ruling. I am prepared to continue working on meaningful legislative reforms to save our public pension systems."

- House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs

"Let's just stop tinkering around the edges and get to the real root of the problem."

- State Rep. Tom Morrison, a Palatine Republican

"I really do think we have to start from scratch."

-State Sen. Linda Holmes, an Aurora Democrat

"I am committed to working with everyone to find a solution that adheres to the Constitution. We must to work together in bipartisan cooperation with Governor Rauner - who has demonstrated his commitment to tackle the most difficult problems facing Illinois."

- Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont

"We are thankful that the Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the will of the people, overturned this unfair and unconstitutional law, and protected the hard-earned life savings of teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, caregivers and other public service workers and retirees."

- AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan

"My feeling is there needs to be compromise, but I don't think it will happen at first. There will probably be more political wrangling and finger-pointing and nobody is going to sit at the table."

- President of the College of DuPage Faculty Association Glenn Hansen

"What is now clear is that a Constitutional Amendment clarifying the distinction between currently earned benefits and future benefits not yet earned, which would allow the state to move forward on common-sense pension reforms, should be part of any solution."

- Gov. Bruce Rauner

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