The Illinois Supreme Court says free health care is a protected retirement benefit for certain government employees. It was cause for celebration among those who’ve opposed Illinois' attempts to save money by cutting retirement benefits. But Illinois' pension battles are far from over.
Many state retirees used to get premium-free health insurance. When the law was changed to make them pay, a group of them sued.
A Cook County judge has ruled that signature-driven ballot measures calling for legislative term limits and a new political redistricting process can't appear on the November ballot.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva says in a Friday ruling the measures don't meet constitutional requirements to make the ballot.
The ruling is a setback for groups advocating the measures, including one led by Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner. He's made term limits a cornerstone of his campaign to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
Since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state's eavesdropping law in March, it's been legal to record audio of someone without asking permission. But legislators are working on a replacement.
The Supreme Court found the old law overly broad. It was a crime even to record in public, where people shouldn't really have an expectation of privacy. Because of that, Illinois' law was considered one of the strictest in the nation.
Springfield attorney and Ward 5 alderman Sam Cahnman has received a censure from the Illinois Supreme Court.
The move follows a recommendation the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission made last year. The Commission says Cahnman intentionally misled an Associate Circuit Judge about how he gained possession of a page from the judge's private calendar. Cahnman has denied that charge.
James Grogan is with the Commission. He says Illinois' high court issues a censure when there has been a violation of the lawyer's ethics code.
A court case decided in Arizona Thursday could have implications for Illinois' ongoing legal battle over pensions. The decision (pdf), by the Arizona Supreme Court, struck down an attempt to reduce Arizona officials' retirement benefits.
A published report says groups with ties to the pension-reform law adopted last month have contributed close to $3 million to Illinois Supreme Court justices who might decide its fate.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1aqJQ5n ) that six of seven justices have taken money in the past 13 years from labor unions, business groups and a political committee controlled by Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Retired teachers have sued to stop the pension-reform plan that cuts retiree benefits to reduce a $100 billion debt.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan presents the conference committee report on Senate Bill 1, the legislation overhauling Illinois pensions. Madigan says "hopefully the Court will rule in favor of the constitutionality of the bill."
Illinois legislators may have passed a pension overhaul, but unions representing teachers and public employees have vowed to sue to stop it from taking effect. If they're successful, that could force lawmakers to go back to the drawing board.
Lawmakers made preemptive efforts to fend off a legal challenge. The measure contains a statement that details the terrible condition of Illinois' finances and what lawmakers have tried to do about it -- a clear attempt to justify cutting pension benefits.
The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday struck down the so-called "Amazon tax." The decision could pave the way for businesses to make more money online.
The law was intended to force Internet retailers to collect Illinois sales tax.
Even if such companies didn't have an office or physical store here, they might have had Illinois "affiliates." That would be a website that linked to a product on, say, Amazon.com, and got a small kickback for every sale.
Retired state workers who collect pensions in Illinois started paying health insurance premiums this summer. That's because of a change in the law last year — previously health insurance was free for anyone who retired with at least 20 years of service.
A number of retirees sued over the change. The case was argued Wednesday before the Illinois Supreme Court.
A few months ago, Illinois began collecting one percent of pension income from retirees who are eligible for Medicare, two percent from those who aren't.
Illinois' old law banning the concealed carry of firearms took another hit Thursday. A federal court already found it unconstitutional last year. Now the Illinois Supreme Court has taken the same position.
Alberto Aguilar was 17 when Chicago police arrested him for having a loaded handgun with the serial number scratched off.
He was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm and sentenced to 24 months probation.
The Illinois Supreme Court returns from its summer recess next week, and one of the items on the docket could be the announcement of its next chief justice. The court appears ready to name Rita Garman to the post.
Garman would be the second woman to head the Illinois Supreme Court — and in fact, only the second woman to lead one of Illinois' three branches of government.
Based in Danville, Garman has been a lawyer since 1968, a judge since 1974, and on the Supreme Court since 2002.
Chief Judge Dan Flannell says he submitted an application to the Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday. The state's high court has the final say on whether the circuit will be included in the pilot program that was approved about 18 months ago.
The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a law that requires young women to notify their parents before getting an abortion. The decision ends a legal fight that goes all the way back to the 1990s.
For the first time since the law passed nearly two decades ago, women 17 and younger who want to have an abortion will have to get their parents' permission.
Illinois' parental-notification law was passed in 1995, during a brief period when Republicans won control of the Illinois House.
This week, a new Illinois Supreme Court rule took effect that's intended to make it easier for spouses of military personnel to get a law license.
Angela Allen practices law in Chicago and, with a husband in the Illinois National Guard, she's one of about 800 members of the Military Spouse J.D. Network.
Allen says the job market for lawyers is tough enough as it is, but with the frequent transfers that are a part of military life, she says the time and expense of getting a new state law license made it even harder on the lawyer-spouses.
Illinois lawmakers remain at odds over how to handle the state's $100 billion of pension debt. But there's a chance that this spring the General Assembly may finally do something about it. After years of no major action, there are not one, but two major packages designed to reign in Illinois' retirement costs. The House and Senate passed competing plans. Both of them seek to save Illinois money by cutting current and retired government workers' benefits. But one important group of government workers are being left out of both deals - judges.
The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in case challenging the state's so-called "Amazon tax." The decision could change the way Illinois websites make money online. Brian Mackey reports.
When you click a product link on a website — like if a blogger links to a book she's reviewing — the blogger can make a deal with the retailer to get a cut of the sale.
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the death at age 81 of former Chief Justice Moses Harrison. Harrison died Thursday at a St. Louis hospital. The cause of death wasn't immediately revealed. Harrison began his career on the bench in 1973 as a circuit court judge. He was serving on the 5th District Appellate Court when he was elected to the Supreme Court in 1992. He served as chief justice from 2000 to 2002.