New pension reforms are now in effect for Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn signed a law yesterday ending the practice of so-called double-dipping by public employees. The law also closes a loophole that allowed two lobbyists to qualify for teachers' retirement benefits after spending just one day in the classroom.
Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross pushed for the changes.
"It's something that had to happen. We have seen a large number of abuses -- in my opinion types of fraud -- that were going on, and we needed to shut those doors so it does not continue," Cross said.
It's unclear whether the new law will be challenged in court. The Illinois Constitution says state pension benefits "shall not be diminished or impaired."
The new law does not address the state's under-funded pension system.