Judge ruling: state lawmakers should get paid

Sep 27, 2013

A Cook County judge had harsh words Friday for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, saying state lawmakers should get their paychecks again.  IPR’s Tony Arnold explains.

 Governor Quinn has said lawmakers shouldn’t get paid until they agree on a plan to cut pension benefits for state employees.

 So he took the money for their salaries out of the state budget, which prompted a lawsuit.

 In making his ruling - Cook County Judge Neil Cohen said he was relying on precedent.

 When Rod Blagojevich was governor - he tried to cut judges’ salaries, which was found to be unconstitutional.

  Cohen said he was using that case to rule against Quinn.

  Quinn’s lawyers pushed back - asking that lawmakers not get paid while he appeals the decision.

  Cohen called that “cynical” - saying not getting paid would create more hardship for the legislators.

  Meantime - there’s still no clear agreement among lawmakers on how the state’s 100 billion dollar pension debt will be paid off.