CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement regarding today’s filing of a lawsuit to restore pay for legislators. On July 10, 2013, following two years of legislative inertia on pension reform – the most critical job for the state – the Governor issued a line-item veto of House Bill 214 to suspend pay for legislators until they pass comprehensive pension reform. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Governor has the power to line-item veto any appropriation. The Governor is also not accepting his own salary.
Below is his statement:
"Today's lawsuit filed by two members of the Illinois General Assembly is just plain wrong.
“If legislators had put forth the same effort to draw up a pension reform agreement that they did in crafting this lawsuit, pension reform could have been done by now.
"Instead of focusing on resolving the state's pension crisis – which is costing taxpayers millions of dollars a day – legislators have chosen to focus on their own paychecks and waste taxpayer time and money on this lawsuit.
"My action to suspend the appropriation for legislative pay is clearly within the express provisions of the Illinois Constitution.
“Legislators should not be rewarded for an endless cycle of promises, excuses, delay and inertia on the pension problem.
"I've spent a lot of time with working people across Illinois who understand the importance of this issue. They work hard for their paychecks and they do what's hard to support their families.
"They don't get paid if they don’t do their jobs. And neither should members of the General Assembly.
“I will defend the interest of Illinois taxpayers in the courts. Nobody should be paid until the pension reform job gets done for taxpayers.”