Gov. Pat Quinn (pictured) is telling lawmakers to focus on pension reform, not on suing him for their paychecks. The lawsuit filed by House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) deemed Quinn’s act of vetoing pay for legislators out of the state budget “purely political and unconstitutional.” Quinn, however, believes the law is on his side.
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“The Constitution’s crystal clear, the governor has line-item appropriation veto authority, and I exercised that,” Quinn said. The governor argues that the court filing is premature, as lawmakers could still override his veto by a supermajority vote. “They can go down to Springfield and take a vote”, Quinn said. “And I think that’s what we’re going to say to the judge, first foremost: this case doesn’t belong here.”
To those members of the House and Senate who depend on their legislative paycheck, Quinn says their pay is “not a priority” when compared to solving the state’s pension shortfall. It’s not clear when the lawsuit will go before a judge.