Governor: lawmakers won't be paid until pension crisis solved

Published 07/10 2013 04:46PM

Updated 07/10 2013 06:12PM

Update: 4:49 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn is bringing down the hammer on lawmakers this week. He's stopping their pay because a committee didn't reach a solution to the pension crisis Tuesday.

That committee has met several times and says it's at a standstill. Members are waiting for the results of an actual analysis. The group met Monday and learned that report could take a week ore more to complete.

But, Quinn says it's not good enough. He says he needs a solution now. Quinn says he used his line-item veto power in a budget bill and won't accept a salary himself until a deal is reached.

Lawmakers receive a base salary of $68,000. They would have to vote to reject his changes if they want to get paid.

Original: 12:02 pm

SPRINGFIELD -- Wednesday, Governor Pat Quinn issued a line-item veto which suspends pay for Illinois state legislators. The governor will also forgo his own salary until the General Assembly sends him a comprehensive pension reform package.

The pension crisis is the result of 70-years of fiscal mismanagement by previous administrations. Governor Quinn expressed frustration that his efforts to push for solvency in the state's budget has been met with opposition and criticism:

    In this budget, there should be no paychecks for
    legislators until they get the job done on pension
    reform. ...Pension reform is the most critical job
    for all of us in public office. I cannot in good conscience
    approve legislation that provides paychecks to legislators
    who are not doing their job for the taxpayers.

Illinois is currently in the "worst-in-the-nation" pension crisis with growing debt and plummeting credit scores. The state's credit score is currently the lowest in history after having been downgraded twice in one week.

Members of the General Assembly earn more than $67,000 annually along with stipends for leadership positions. Both were vetoed out Wednesday.

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