SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of lawmakers’ paycheck will not be taken up as lawmakers return to town for the fall veto session.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, filed a letter today explaining that the governor’s veto of money for lawmaker paychecks has been struck down by a Cook County judge.
“This means the line item veto has no legal effect, and it is to be treated as void from the outset,” Madigan wrote.
Over the summer, Quinn vetoed the money for lawmaker salaries, saying members of the General Assembly should not be paid until they pass pension reform. The state is struggling to figure out how to fix the worst-in-the-nation $100 billion state retirement system debt.
Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, filed a lawsuit, contesting the Quinn veto as a violation of the tenet of separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. They won, but Quinn has appealed. The matter now is pending before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Madigan said “there is no viable veto” that the House can consider. The legal position also allows legislators to avoid a potentially controversial vote in which they would have to decide whether they should vote to be paid.
Some lawmakers feared a vote to get their paychecks might spark a voter backlash just as they are collecting signatures from constituents to get on the ballot.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun