Governor Suspends Lawmakers’ Salaries in Illinois Pension Stalemate

Gov. Quinn today expressed his disgust with the General Assembly for not reaching a deal on pension reform by using his powers to line-item veto legislative pay and some benefits.

The governor sarcastically noted that when ComEd and the NRA want action, legislators always “hop to it,” and said the taxpayers deserve the same on pension reform. The best way to do that, he said, is to “hit them in the wallet.”

The Illinois Constitution would seem to prohibit today’s gubernatorial actions, however. “A member shall receive a salary and allowances as provided by law,” the Constitution declares, adding that salary changes can’t take effect during their terms of office. Quinn sidestepped a question on the constitutionality of his veto today.

Governor suspends lawmakers’ salaries in Illinois pension stalemate

Gov. Pat Quinn said today he is suspending state lawmakers’ pay until they come up with a comprehensive solution to the state’s public pension mess, a dramatic gesture that is likely to increase tension with the General Assembly and the fellow Democrats who lead it.