Litigation Co$t$: Time to Help Out, IRTA Retiree!
President of SSRTA (South Suburban Retired Teachers) Will Odaker reports that Jim Bachman, executive director of IRTA provided updates on June 18th to the membership in the areas of insurance, legislative action, and our pension lawsuit.
NOTE: Nearly half of the money reserved for the IRTA legal defense fund has been exhausted thus far into the legal battle to save our benefits.
$163,770 spent; $187,745 remaining.
On June 26th, lawyers representing both IRTA and the other four union groups/plaintiffs with the attorneys defending the State of Illinois met before Judge Belz in Sangamon County to hear arguments of class distinction, etc.
Following the lead of SUAA, the other union/group plaintiffs filed a joint motion to withdraw their class allegations. Their argument was that any or all of the aspects of SB1 violated the pension protection clause’ therefore, it should be charged as a singular violation.
“First, the Court granted the plaintiffs' joint motion to withdraw their class allegations. The judge said the motion was "wise" and would streamline the case, and he thanked us for taking that step. He also made clear that the motion was granted without prejudice, which means that if in the future we needed to certify a class, we could ask for leave to re-allege our class allegations and could do so” (https://www.irtaonline.org/).
On the other hand, even though the unions’ motion was granted, Judge Belz nevertheless allowed for reviewing and arguing each of the issues within the law that the unions consider unconstitutional. This, of course, was Speaker Madigan’s original strategy to see what would stick after throwing all the elements into the SB1 law to begin with.
We may expect the ruling of the Judge in Sangamon County to go directly to the Supreme Court, but it will not necessarily travel in one piece. In fact, the challenge to SB1 (now PA 98-599) could likely arrive in several different packaged challenges, perhaps by several different groups.
In short, this is going to take longer.
In short, this is going to cost more.
In short, it is time to pay it forward, retiree.