State lawmakers are going to miss at least one more paycheck, after a judge set oral arguments in the lawsuit against Gov. Quinn for next month. Quinn himself appeared in court for the brief hearing in Chicago, which set the schedule leading up to the next court date on Sept. 18 – past legislators’ next payday on Sept. 1. He says he acted within his power as governor when he vetoed lawmakers’ pay last month.
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“This is going to be a landmark case. It involves the Illinois Constitution, and the rights of the governor to line-item veto the appropriation of the legislative salaries until the pension reform is done for the people,” Quinn said. The lawsuit filed by the House speaker Senate president (pictured) asks the court to decide if Quinn’s veto actually eliminated their salaries, and if so, to declare the action unconstitutional. Lawyers for the plaintiffs have asked for a preliminary injunction that would restore the lost pay with interest. Quinn says if legislators want to get paid, they can vote to override his veto. Legislators say that would legitimize a tactic they consider to be unconstitutional. While the next hearing is set for Sept. 18, there is no timetable set for the judge to issue a decision.