Governor Quinn is now being sued for keeping state lawmakers from being paid, until there’s pension reform.
Thursday is payday for state lawmakers, but they won’t be getting their checks.
Earlier this month, the governor used his veto powers to eliminate a budget item that included lawmakers’ salaries, including his own.
He says the legislature will get paid when it passes pension reform.
But now democratic leaders John Cullerton and Michael Madigan want a judge to stop Quinn’s plan.
They say the governor is undermining the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government.
“If the governor’s line-item veto is upheld, the independence of each member of the General Assembly is forever compromised,” their
lawsuit states. “Any governor will hold a trump card over a co-equal branch of government, attempting to bend the members of the
General Assembly to his or her will with the threat of eliminating their salaries, which for some legislators is their only source of
income.. In this particular instance, Governor Quinn has stated that his dispute with the General Assembly is over the lack of pension
reform legislation. Next time it may be gun control, abortion rights or tax policy.”
No republicans are named in Cullerton and Madigan’s lawsuit.
Governor Quinn says he’s ready to defend taxpayers in the courts.
“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,” Quinn said in a statement. “Legislators should not be rewarded for an endless cycle of
promises, excuses, delay and inertia on the pension problem.”