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   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's pleased the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal of a ruling that found his veto of lawmakers' pay unconstitutional.

   The court issued its one-page order Wednesday. A hearing date has not been set.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' salaries in July.  He said they shouldn't get paid until they addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

   House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton then sued, arguing Quinn didn't have the authority to halt lawmaker paychecks.

   A Cook County judge in September ordered that legislators be paid immediately.

   Quinn appealed directly to the state's high court, saying his move was allowed through the state constitution.

   Quinn's spokeswoman says the governor will continue to not accept his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Gov. Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

   House Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton dispute Quinn's argument that the Illinois constitution only bans mid-term increases in pay.Illinois' unfunded pension liability is close to $100 billion, due largely to lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. A committee of lawmakers has been working on one possible reform package that could save $138 billion over 30 years.

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says she's looking into whether Gov. Pat Quinn can legally cut lawmakers' pay.

   Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks from a budget bill Wednesday. He says it's the consequence for lawmakers failing to address the state's $97 billion pension shortfall.

   Topinka says questions have been raised about whether Quinn's actions are constitutional.

   A provision of the Illinois Constitution says changes in lawmaker salary should not take effect during the term in which they were elected.

   Topinka says she has requested a legal review. It should be complete before Aug. 1, when lawmakers are scheduled to receive their next paychecks.

   Quinn says a prior court ruling gives him the authority. He also says he's not changing their salary, just withholding the money to pay it.

 
Published in Local News

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