Governor Quinn suspends lawmakers' pay

Published 07/10 2013 09:25PM

Updated 07/11 2013 11:27AM

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn is warning lawmakers they will pay for not getting a pension reform measure on his desk this week.

"They're not going to get paid unless they get the pension reform accomplished," Quinn said.

The governor's punishment comes after a bi-partisan conference committee failed to come up with a solution to the pension crisis this week while it was in Springfield.

"I think it's a childish game of tit for tat, it's particularly when you know you the deadline that was set was impractical," Sen. Kwame Raoul, (D-Chicago).

For some lawmakers the $68,000 a year base salary is their only income. Now they're upset claiming the governor is also to blame and shouldn't get paid either.

"If he is going to do that, he ought to look at the line item that pays his salary as well because he didn't come to the conference committee meeting to participate."

As it turns out Quinn agrees and won't take any pay out for himself either. In total, the lawmakers'  salaries come to about $14 million.

"In this budget here, there is no money to pay them. I've cut that out, all stipends of legislators, all salaries of legislators is removed in this fiscal year," Quinn said.

So far the conference committee has met three times. The latest was Monday. Members claim they're awaiting the results of an actuarial report to better determine which plans could work before they move forward.

"I think it's important for the members of the General Assembly to, both houses and both parties, to come together and work together to solve this problem, to put a bill on my desk that I can sign."

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who issues those paychecks, is looking into the matter to see if the  action violates the state constitution.

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