Several months after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed legislators’ salaries from the state budget — one lawmaker wants to turn the tables on him.
Rep. David Harris, R – Arlington Heights, says it’s his contention Quinn and his staff haven’t done their job, because it’s a
cooperative venture here in the state, between the legislature and the chief executive, and therefore he has filed legislation to cut a million dollars from the governor’s office.
Harris says lawmakers passed 600 bills in the spring session, but because they didn’t pass one single bill, Quinn says lawmakers shouldn’t be paid until they overhaul the state’s pensions.
A Cook County judge rejected that move and the governor’s appeal is still pending before the state Supreme Court, so lawmakers are getting their paychecks.
In response to Harris’ bill, a spokesman for the governor sent a summary of task forces, deadlines and public pronouncements Quinn has made to help resolve the pension issue, and says the governor isn’t taking a paycheck until that’s done.
But that isn’t enough for Harris, who says Quinn has job perks most legislators do not, such as being driven around by state troopers, and food coming from the state coffers at the executive mansion.
Harris also notes that, unlike he did for legislators’ pay, Quinn did not veto his own salary; he is just making a temporary choice to not take a paycheck.
Harris’s legislation, House Bill 3717, was filed yesterday, the same day House Speaker Michael Madigan made public a letter about the salary veto. The letter makes clear that legislators will NOT vote to try to override it during the fall veto session. Madigan writes that the judge’s ruling essential void’s Quinn’s action … so there is no veto for the General Assembly to consider.