Illinois Governor Drops Appeal over Lawmakers' Withheld Paychecks

December 17, 2013 AT 10:10 AM

Gov. Pat Quinn dropped his appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court over his failed attempt to withhold legislators' paychecks until they sent him a bill to overhaul the state's public employee pension system, clearing the way to collect nearly $74,000 in back pay he refused to take during the stalemate.

The Democratic governor vetoed out lawmakers' pay in July, saying they didn't deserve a salary while the pension issue went unresolved. Democratic legislative leaders sued, arguing that the move violated the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
In September, a Cook County judge ruled that the move was unconstitutional, allowing the comptroller to issue two months worth of checks to members of the House and Senate. The governor appealed to the state Supreme Court but stopped pursuing the case after lawmakers sent him sweeping changes to the state's employee retirement systems that he signed into law this month.
"The governor directed his legal counsel to drop his appeal of the trial court ruling of his suspension of legislative pay," Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said. "Illinois is moving forward."
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