Lawmakers sue Quinn over suspension of pay

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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

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  • Linda

    Politicians don't deserve a dime – they can't run anything and we all flip the bill and it costs us more. They need to get it resolved – I agree they shouldn't be paid – they should be fired!

  • The mix

    “Suspension” not terminated. These so called lawmakers earn more money than the 67K the news reports. It is time to make their tax returns public. Suspension there should be a clause in the Illinois constitution for discharge, inattentive to duty.

  • Shell

    They were warned well beforehand. Why should we keep footing the bill while they soak up the money? We don't get paid if we don't do our jobs, that's not how it works. So they are going to sue to get paid, more money that we the people have to come up with. I have no faith in these people at all. Government needs to be cleaned out and bring in new people that will do their jobs without being paid ridiculous salaries in the first place.

    • Todd

      We should keep picking up the bill because WE keep voting for these so nothing pols!
      WE can vote others into their place and vote them out too. Funny thing is we complain about THEM and keep voting THEM in, or THEIR party.

  • diane

    What Quinn and Madigan want is for those public retirees who worked long enough for a pension but are too young to enroll in the federal Medicare program to be forced onto Obamacare and let federal
    tax dollars pay for their health care. Problem is neither teachers, and other public unions don't want it. It would take part of the burden off Illinois' budget but citizens will still be paying for it. Only now thru the IRS instead of Springfield.