Bipartisan panel says Gov. Quinn's pension-pay plan is not working

Jul 25, 2013

Though it's looking increasingly like legislators will not get their paychecks next month, members of the special committee tasked with agreeing on a new pension plan say that's NOT a factor in their deliberations. IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has more:

Legislators will lose their salaries in August, thanks to Gov. Pat Quinn. He vetoed lawmakers' pay from the state budget - saying that they don't deserve it until they overhaul the state's pension systems. But if the move was meant to hurry them up, the Representatives and Senators on a rare, bipartisan panel say it isn't working.

Senator Linda Holmes - a Democrat from Aurora - says they're working diligently on a deal regardless of whether or not they're getting paid:

"We all understand that it was sort of the Governor grandstanding and playing to the media and we're all continuing about our business doing the work we're supposed to be doing."

Like Holmes, Republican Representative Darlene Senger, who's from Naperville, says she's not feeling any pressure from legislators who aren't on the pension committee.  She says it's the opposite:

"I haven't had one phone call from a legislator saying, 'You know get this done, I'm not going to get paid,' or 'why are you dragging your feet?' - If anything they're calling to say, 'Thank you for doing this, you've got a tough job in front of you. I'm glad it's you not me.' "

Both lawmakers say since he sliced their pay, Gov. Quinn has not been in touch.