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.