Judge to Illinois governor: Pay lawmakers

Sept. 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A judge in Cook County, Ill., ruled Thursday state lawmakers should get their paychecks, despite problems with state worker pensions.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn Quinn suspended pay for the state Legislature in July, and no paychecks went out in August and September, saying lawmakers had to settle the pension issue, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Quinn line-vetoed legislative pay from the budget after calling repeatedly during the last two years for action to cut Illinois' worst-in-the-nation $100 billion unfunded pension liability for public workers, the Tribune said.

The governor has refused to accept his own pay while the public employee pension issue goes unresolved.

Judge Neil Cohen made the ruling after hearing arguments last week from lawyers for legislative leaders and the Quinn administration. The arguments centered on the separation of powers in the state Constitution, the Tribune said.

"Comptroller [Judy Baar] Topinka is ordered to pay the members and officers of the Illinois General Assembly in accordance with the Public Act 98-64 and the General Assembly Compensation Act plus interest on any amounts that have been withheld," Cohen said in his ruling

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