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Judge blocks cost-of-living cuts to pensions

By The Associated Press
Published On: Dec 21 2013 11:11:23 AM MST
HELENA, Mont. -

A Montana judge has blocked reductions to the annual cost-of-living raises applied to pensions received by thousands of retired local and state government employees.
    
Lee Newspapers of Montana reports that District Judge James Reynolds in Helena on Friday granted a preliminary injunction to the Association of Montana Retired Public Employees and individual retirees.
    
Lawmakers earlier this year passed a pension overhaul measure cutting retired public employees' annual inflationary increases from 3 percent to 1.5 percent. An additional trigger lowers that to 1 percent on Jan. 1.
    
The retirees say the move is an unconstitutional.
    
Reynolds in his ruling says his job was to decide if the petitioners had shown a violation of a constitutional right had taken place, and if so to preserve the status quo until a trial.