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Thu August 29, 2013

Illinois Supreme Court Moving To Chicago

Illinois Supreme Court under construction
The Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield is undergoing a yearlong rehabilitation project.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court will meet in Chicago for at least the next year while the court's usual home in Springfield is undergoing a major renovation.

The $12.6 million project began this summer. Workers are completely redoing the century-old building's ventilation system, as well as restoring the historic murals that line the walls of the courtroom.

Spokesman Joe Tybor says the move to Chicago is a big change for the justices.

"For the first time since the Supreme Court building was opened in 1908 in Springfield, the Supreme Court is hearing the full term of oral arguments outside of Springfield, and that will be in Chicago," Tybor says.

The court is scheduled to hear 17 cases in its September term. That includes a closely-watched challenge to a law that forces state retirees to begin paying health insurance premiums.

A ruling against the state could be significant as lawmakers consider even harsher cuts to workers' pension benefits.