Illinois Comptroller Review: No Pay For Lawmakers - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois Comptroller Review: No Pay For Lawmakers

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The battle over how to fix a broken public pension system in Illinois may not be over, but it appears a drastic step to get action can take effect. Illinois State Comptroller Judy Barr-Topinka announced Thursday that it appears Gov. Pat Quinn can withhold pay from lawmakers until they reach agreement on the pension issue.

Earlier this month, Quinn used his line-item veto power to remove pay for state lawmakers from the budget and said they won't get paid until they agree on a pension reform plan. The House and Senate each submitted plans this year, but could not reach an agreement before summer adjournment.

In a statement, Topinka said her office conducted a thorough review by legal staff and the Illinois Attorney General's Office and determined that pay can be withheld without appropriation, unless the court rules differently.

Gov. Quinn issued his own statement.

"Today Comptroller Topinka properly recognized and adhered to my line-item veto of appropriations for legislative salaries. By doing so, she followed the express provisions of the Illinois Constitution."

He said The lack of action on pension reform costs Illinois taxpayers millions of dollars every day. It has forced the state to make $2 billion in education cuts and $3 billion in social service cuts, as well as causing multiple downgrades of Illinois' credit rating.

Quinn said he's also asked the comptroller to withhold his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.

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