Finance

Illinois Governor Suspends Lawmakers' Salaries for Failing to Pass Pension Reform

Lawmakers of both parties Tuesday rejected yet again his deadline for solving the state's public pension nightmare amid rising criticism that Quinn would rather pressure them through public pronouncements than get involved in the nitty-gritty of legislative negotiations.
July 11, 2013

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.

"It's important our budget reflect what the people want," Quinn said at a news conference in Chicago, announcing he would use his line-item veto power to alter the state budget.

The move comes a day after the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode Quinn's rewrite of a concealed carry gun bill amid criticism that he wouldn't engage in meaningful negotiations over the controversial measure.

Lawmakers of both parties Tuesday also rejected yet again his deadline for solving the state's public pension nightmare amid rising criticism that Quinn would rather pressure them through public pronouncements than get involved in the nitty-gritty of legislative negotiations.

Quinn said he would voluntarily suspend his own pay while the state's leaders work on the pension solution.

"This is an emergency. This is a crisis. This requires the full attention of those elected to the General Assembly," Quinn said.

The base salary for lawmakers is $67,836. Quinn's move also targets stipends that substantially boost the salary for lawmakers in leadership positions.

"They cannot take time away and ignore this issue," Quinn said. "The best way to do that is hit them in the wallet."

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