Ill. Lawmakers’ Pay Suspended Until Pension Reform Agreed

July 12, 2013 ( – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn suspended pay for state legislators until they pass public employee pension reform.

“They’re not going to get paid until they get the pension reform accomplished,” Quinn said in a press conference, according to CNN. The governor defended his action by saying he is authorized by the state constitution to veto any bill or line item.

Quinn also will receive no pay until the matter is over. He has ordered the state comptroller to withhold his salary. “I’ve tried everything in the book to get [the legislature’s] attention,” Quinn said, referring to normal workers who do not get paid until after their work is done, CNN reported.

In May, a comprehensive pension reform bill narrowly passed the Illinois House of Representatives and was sent to the state Senate, but senators had previously voted against many of the reforms (see “Pension Reform Bill Heads to Illinois Senate”). According to a Pew report last year, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky and Rhode Island have the worst-funded pensions among the states; all were less than 55% funded in 2010 (see “Funding Gap Widens for State Pensions”).