In a case scrutinized for potential ramifications for pension reform in Illinois, the Arizona Supreme Court today ruled unconstitutional efforts to curtail benefit increases for retired judges.
The Arizona case has been on the local radar because Arizona and Illinois are, along with New York, the only three states with constitutionally mandated protections for state pensions.
“My one-word comment is 'predictable,' ” said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, on today's ruling. “All the Arizona Supreme Court did is read the plain language and said there's no need for legal construction here: The language is plain on its face. Hence, it's unconstitutional.”