KERRY LESTER SOPHIA TAREEN
---- — CHICAGO (AP) — Leaders of the Illinois House and Senate sued Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday over what they called a “purely political and unconstitutional” move to block lawmaker paychecks because of inaction on the state’s nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
Less than 48 hours before the first affected payday, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton filed the 12-page complaint with the Circuit Court of Cook County.
“This matter is of fundamental constitutional importance, as Governor Quinn’s action threatens the independence of each branch of government,” Cullerton and Madigan said in a joint news release. “The Illinois Constitution protects the salaries of members of the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive branch.”
Earlier this month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators’ paychecks in the state budget through his veto power. He had threatened consequences if lawmakers failed to act promptly on addressing the pension problem.