August paychecks not likely for state lawmakers

By Marshanna Hester

July 31, 2013 Updated Aug 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM CDT

The 177 members of the Illinois legislature stand to lose about $5,600 a month if they don't give Governor Pat Quinn what he wants, a solution on pension reform.

Many Illinoisans agree.

On our Facebook page, Tessa Hamilton said, "I'm pretty sure if I missed deadlines at my job repeatedly, I'd also lose my paycheck."

Taking the issue to the courts isn't a popular idea either.

Amy Serrano said on Facebook, "Maybe instead of wasting more time and money for this lawsuit they should do their job so they can get paid!!!"

Republican state Representative Dan Brady, who represents the 105th District, responded to these concerns.

"I understand that frustration. I share in that frustration, but you have to remember we are doing our job," he said. "We're representatives of the people. Paid or unpaid, my office will be open tomorrow and I'll be serving my constituents with their challenges and needs they bring before me."

Brady said he told Governor Pat Quinn on Monday his action to suspend pay won't expedite a deal on pension reform, instead create a distraction.

Members of the pension reform committee have been meeting in small sub groups, but have not met as a whole since July 8.

Two days later, the Governor used his veto power to stop paychecks.

Senator Dave Koehler had this say following that announcement.

"I'm sorry to see him go this route," said Koehler, (D) 46th District. "This is more showmanship than leadership"

Lawmakers' inaction has led to two credit downgrades for the state.

As the legal fight over pay wages on, taxpayers watch the pension debt grow to $100 billion.

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