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Judge Orders Lawmakers be Paid
Judge Orders Lawmakers be Paid

Gov. Pat Quinn says he disagrees with a Cook County judge who’s ruled the Chicago Democrat has to reinstate lawmakers’ pay.

Quinn says he intends to appeal and will seek a stay that would prevent any paychecks from being issued until the case is considered by a higher court. Quinn halted legislators’ pay during the summer for failure to reform Illinois’ pension system.

Judge Neil Cohen ruled Thursday that Quinn’s action is unconstitutional and he must order Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to pay lawmakers immediately. However, in a statement Quinn says the lawsuit is about more than a governor’s constitutional authority.

Despite Quinn’s desire to have a stay, Topinka issued a statement that she would begin processing paychecks immediately.

“I have consistently said action was required by the General Assembly or the Court to authorize restoration of those payments. That has now occurred, and the Comptroller’s Office will comply,” she said. “Processing of paychecks for August, September and October begins today.”