State rep. wants to cut governor's budget

Published 10/23 2013 08:53PM

Updated 10/24 2013 11:50AM

SPRINGFIELD -- Angered by Governor Pat Quinn's move to strip lawmakers of their pay, a state representative has filed a bill to cut the governor's office budget. Rep. David Harris (R-Mt. Prospect), filed a bill this week to cut the governor's budget by $1 million. Harris says Quinn hasn't done his job, failing to act as a leader on the pension issue.

Earlier this summer, Quinn vetoed a portion of the state budget which funded lawmakers' paychecks. At the time, he said he did it because the General Assembly failed to pass a bill reforming the state's pension system.  

A judge later ruled the governor's move unconstitutional, as it deals with separation of powers. After missing two paychecks, the judge ordered lawmakers be paid with interest.

Quinn has appealed the case to the Illinois Supreme Court which just last week decided to take the case on.

Harris says Quinn's assessment that the legislature hasn't done its job is uncalled for. He points to the passage of 600 bills during the spring session as proof.

For its part, Quinn's office says the governor has worked to pass pension reform, meeting with legislators, forming task forces and, just this summer, proposing the idea of a conference committee to reach an agreement on a plan. Quinn has also decided not to accept a paycheck until the problem is solved.

Illinois' pension system is $100 billion in the red and continues to encompass more of the state's operating budget each year. The governor's office estimates Illinois loses $5 million each day the problem goes unsolved. A ten-member legislative conference committee has been meeting for four months trying to reach an agreement on a plan to reform the system.

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