HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge has blocked reductions to the annual cost-of-living raises on pension payments received by thousands of retired teachers.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports that District Judge Mike Menahan in Helena on Friday granted a preliminary injunction to the Montana teachers union and six retired and current employees.

The decision comes a week after District Judge James Reynolds in Helena granted a similar injunction to the Association of Montana Retired Public Employees and individual retirees also fighting cuts to cost-of-living raises on pension payments.

Lawmakers earlier this year passed a pension overhaul measure cutting retired public employees' annual inflationary increases. The measure affecting teachers cut the annual inflationary increase for retirees from of 1.5 percent to .5 percent.

The retirees say the move is an unconstitutional reduction of benefits.

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