Quinn cashes $70k in paychecks, drops Supreme Court appeal in legislative pay dispute

SHARE Quinn cashes $70k in paychecks, drops Supreme Court appeal in legislative pay dispute

SPRINGFIELD-Pizza and beer are on Gov. Pat Quinn Friday night.

The governor collected more than $70,000 in uncashed paychecks held since last summer by Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka at his request in a move originally intended to show his commitment toward solving the state’s $100 billion pension crisis.

And in one other bit of end-of-the-week housekeeping, Quinn dropped his appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court in his dispute with House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, over whether he had the authority as governor to withhold legislators’ paychecks to drive a legislative bargain on pensions.

“We are moving forward. Illinois is moving forward,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said.

Last week, Quinn signed a package struck by the legislative leaders before Thanksgiving that reduces benefits for current and retired state employees, university workers, downstate and suburban teachers and legislators and statewide officeholders.

The package reels in post-retirement, cost-of-living increases and raises retirement ages and is certain to be challenged soon by a coalition of public-sector labor unions that believe the new law that takes effect June 1 is a breach of the state Constitution.

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