Illinois Governor Quinn Withholds Lawmakers' Pay

Decision Is Latest Move to Prod Legislators to Confront Shortfall Approaching $100 Billion

Thursday, July 11, 2013

CHICAGO—Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn cut off pay to lawmakers Wednesday, saying he will withhold their checks until they address the worst pension crisis among U.S. states.
The suspension of pay is the most dramatic move by Mr. Quinn to prod legislators to confront a shortfall in the pension system for government employees that is approaching $100 billion. The Democratic governor has been at odds with the House and Senate, which both have large Democratic majorities, as lawmakers ignore repeated deadlines he has set.
"This is an emergency. This is a crisis," Mr. Quinn said. "Every day there is a new excuse."
The suspension of pay would hit lawmakers at the end of the month when paychecks are issued. Illinois lawmakers make $67,836 annually, with those in leadership positions collecting additional stipends. Mr. Quinn suspended pay through a line-item veto, so legislators could overturn his decision.