Garman's court will decide some major issues

Published 10/28 2013 06:24PM

Updated 10/29 2013 10:31AM

SPRINGFIELD -- The State Supreme Court's newest Chief Justice will oversee decisions on some important issues facing Illinois. As Rita Garman was sworn in Monday, the state is still waiting for a deal to reform its pension system. 

State lawmakers deadlocked during their session in the spring, divided by two potential deals; one with sizable cuts to benefits but a bigger cost savings and another with a choice for state employees and lower projected cost savings.

The main sticking point during the debate on pension reform has been the constitutionality of a change. The state's constitution forbids diminishing pension benefits for employees, but both sides argue about what that means. Any final deal will likely be challenged in court which will later lead to the State Supreme Court.

The court could also weigh in on a dispute between lawmakers and the governor stemming from when the governor eliminated lawmakers' pay with a veto. During Garman's term, the court could also weigh in on same-sex marriage, eavesdropping laws, juvenile justice and even red light cameras.

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