Illinois Lawmakers Take Governor to Court over Withheld Paychecks

The state's Democratic dysfunction spilled into the courts Tuesday as Illinois' two top legislative leaders filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to withhold lawmakers' paychecks until they send him a measure to overhaul the highly indebted government worker pension system.
July 31, 2013

The state's Democratic dysfunction spilled into the courts Tuesday as Illinois' two top legislative leaders filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to withhold lawmakers' paychecks until they send him a measure to overhaul the highly indebted government worker pension system.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton cast the issue as a Civics 101 lesson, arguing that denying pay undermines the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. The two Chicago Democrats want a Cook County judge to overturn Quinn's action and grant an injunction forcing Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks — with interest if there's a delay. The first check lawmakers are scheduled to miss would be cut Thursday.

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