Governor Quinn suspends pay for Illinois legislators

By WEEK Reporter

July 10, 2013 Updated Jul 10, 2013 at 10:15 PM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Governor Pat Quinn has used his veto power to eliminate the paychecks of the Illinois General Assembly.

On Monday, a lawmaker asked one of the governor's representatives what "consequences" the Governor was talking about if they didn't come up with pension reform they know.

Quinn said there will be no paychecks for legislators until they get a pension reform solution.

He said there has been an endless cycle of delays, excuses and more delays by the General Assembly while the state's pension
debt grows to $100 billion.

"When they get their pension reform job finished, they'll have my blessing to getting their pay," said Quinn. "I think it's important for the people of Illinois to take a stand."

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

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan said he understood the governor's frustration and said he was hopeful his strategy works but state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said "not so fast".

She wants a legal ruling on the governor's action. Topinka says the state Constitution prevents changes in a lawmaker's salary in mid-term.

General Assembly members make about $68,000 yearly plus bonuses for leadership positions.

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