Judge to rule next week in suit over lawmaker pay

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 4:30 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County Circuit Court judge says he will rule next week on a lawsuit over Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to halt lawmakers' pay.

Judge Neil Cohen held oral arguments Wednesday. He said he'll issue his decision by Sept. 26.

Quinn used his line-item veto to cut money for legislators' salaries from the state budget because they hadn't fixed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying Quinn's actions were unconstitutional. They asked Cohen to order Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks.

Quinn says if lawmakers want to be paid they can vote to override his veto.

Lawmakers — who earn a base annual salary of $67,836 — have missed two monthly paychecks so far.

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