The judge says pay the lawmakers. That’s the ruling Thursday in the case of state legislative leaders who sued the governor when he vetoed lawmakers’ pay. Cook County Judge Neil Cohen today ordered the comptroller to issue paychecks, and the comptroller says she’ll do it. Gov. Pat Quinn says he respectfully disagrees with the ruling and will appeal. He said earlier this week in East Moline that he can veto budget lines.
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“I think the governor has the right, clear right in the Constitution to veto appropriations. I did that. Now I said if we get the pension reform done with my blessing we can get the pay back to the legislators but only when an important objective and mission is accomplished,” he said. Quinn vetoed lawmakers’ pay in July in order to push them toward passing a pension restructuring measure. Lawmakers have since missed two first-of-the-month paychecks. The judge said a provision in the Constitutions that says lawmakers’ pay can’t be changed during their term in office prevails. The Senate president said in a statement that pension reform remains a priority.