Lawmakers announced a lawsuit against Gov. Pat Quinn Tuesday over his action to suspend their pay.
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Senate President John J. Cullerton filed the suit and called the suspension of pay “unconstitutional.”
Earlier this month, one day after Quinn’s limits on concealed carry were shot down by lawmakers, Quinn announced he would suspend pay for himself and for state lawmakers until the state’s pension crisis is resolved.
Starting August 1, paychecks will be withheld from Illinois lawmakers.
In the suit, Madigan and Cullerton argue the governor’s move violates the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branch. They want the court to overturn Quinn’s move and are asking a Cook County judge for an injunction ordering the state comptroller to pay salaries. The first check lawmakers are scheduled to miss will be issued on Thursday.
Madigan and Cullerton sent a letter to members of the General Assembly saying, in part. “For us to ignore the Governor’s actions, or override the veto, would severely and irrevocably compromise the independence of the legislature and set a very dangerous precedent … The purpose of this lawsuit is to protect the independence of the legislature and preserve the separation of powers. It is our hope that the court will remedy this constitutional.”
Quinn issued a statement this after saying, in part, “Today’s lawsuit filed by two members of the Illinois General Assembly is just plain wrong. If legislators had put forth the same effort to draw up a pension reform agreement that they did in crafting this lawsuit, pension reform could have been done by now. … I will defend the interest of Illinois taxpayers in the courts. Nobody should be paid until the pension reform job gets done for taxpayers.”
-Chicago Tribune Contributed to this report