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3:02 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Judge: Gov. Quinn Must Pay Lawmakers

Gov. Pat Quinn
Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of lawmakers salaries has been ruled unconstitutional.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

A Cook County judge has ruled that Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to halt lawmaker pay over the pension crisis is unconstitutional and has ordered Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to pay them immediately.

Judge Neil Cohen made the ruling Thursday.

He says the state Constitution makes it clear that lawmakers' pay can't be changed while serving they're serving their terms.

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 and violated the state's separation of powers. They asked a judge to order paychecks be issued.