Illinois Lawmakers May Miss First Check Thursday

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn says if lawmakers don't like his decision to halt their pay they should take a vote instead of going to the courts.

   The Chicago Democrat spoke to reporters Wednesday a day after House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued over Quinn's decision to cut pay. Quinn says his authority is constitutional. He has said he took action because of lawmakers' inaction on pension reform.

   Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks from the state budget. That was after legislators failed again to come up with a solution to the nearly $100 billion pension mess.

   Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has said she has to withhold paychecks.

   Madigan and Cullerton call Quinn's move "purely political and unconstitutional."


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois' 177 lawmakers won't be getting paid as scheduled Thursday unless a court intervenes.

The pay stoppage is Gov. Pat Quinn's punishment for inaction on pension reform. Legislative leaders are suing Quinn over the move. They're asking a Cook County judge to issue an emergency injunction.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says her office can't issue the checks because the salaries were in a budget bill. The governor did not eliminate his own salary, but asked for the comptroller to withhold his check. Topinka's office says he can restart his pay any time.

Members of the bipartisan pension committee say they are several weeks away from presenting a plan. Committee members say they are waiting on savings estimates as they prepare a proposal touted by several of the state's university presidents.

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