2 months, 2 weeks ago from chicagotribune.com
Comptroller Topinka cuts checks before Gov. Quinn can file an appeal
From from chicagotribune.com:
Dealt a loss in his attempt to wipe out lawmakers' paychecks, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn will try to put the ruling on ice Friday as he attempts to kick up to the Illinois Supreme Court the legal question of whether his move was constitutional.
Those efforts were complicated by Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's decision to send money electronically overnight to lawmakers' bank accounts for the checks they missed in August and September while the dispute played out in rounds of legal briefs and hearings.
The scramble that unfolded after a Cook County judge's ruling Thursday afternoon added to the monthslong dysfunction of a state government that has been unable to bring Illinois back to financial solvency by fixing a worst-in-the-nation public worker pension debt.
Quinn vetoed lawmakers' salaries out of the state budget in July, saying they were being suspended until the legislature sent him a pension reform plan. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, contending the governor was overstepping his constitutional authority.
The paycheck move represented a political calculation by the re-election-seeking Quinn that the public wouldn't have much sympathy for lawmakers who he argued weren't dealing with the state's most pressing issue. The governor hit that note again Thursday.
"I will not accept a paycheck until a comprehensive pension reform bill is on my desk and neither should legislators," Quinn said in a statement. "Nobody in Springfield should get paid until the pension reform job gets done."
While Quinn's effort may play well with voters, his decision to take the case to the state's highest court could further the animosity between the Democratic governor and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.