Quinn: Case Over Lawmaker Pay Could Be ‘Landmark’
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Radio
Gov. Pat Quinn predicts that a lawsuit over his decision to suspend lawmaker pay for failing to act on the state pension crisis will be a "landmark'' case.
Quinn attended a court hearing Tuesday involving a lawsuit filed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to force Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks.
A Cook County Circuit Court judge set oral arguments for Sept. 18.
"It’s an unusual step for two legislators to sue the governor on pay matters, and I’m a named defendant and I want to defend the taxpayers of Illinois on this matter," said Quinn after the hearing.
Last month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' pay in the state budget after threatening consequences if they didn't act on pensions.
The lawsuit asks the court to decide if Quinn's line-item veto fully eliminated lawmakers' salaries. If the court upholds Quinn's amendatory veto, plaintiffs wants the court to declare Quinn's action unconstitutional.
Quinn says his move is constitutional.