Illinois lawmakers will not be getting their monthly paycheck, starting next week. At least one financial institution is offering to help tide them over until the General Assembly's dispute with the Governor is resolved. Lawmakers' base salary of $68,000 has been set to zero - Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed their pay out of the budget as a sort of punishment for the General Assembly not passing a pension overhaul.
The top Republican in the Illinois House of Representatives says he thinks Democratic leaders are purposely not passing pension reform for their own political gain.
There are lots of conspiracies for why pension reform hasn’t been approved.
One is that it’s purely a legal debate over how to interpret the constitution.
Another - is that the powerful House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan - is stalling because it would somehow help his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, to become governor in next year’s election.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn “Desperately needs a win” on pension reform. That’s the conclusion of political scientist Kent Redfield. The U of I - Springfield professor spoke ahead of next week’s special session on pensions, which Quinn ordered. Redfield says the Governor repeatedly blamed pension costs for the state's budget problems. If no agreement is reached, Redfield says, Quinn will look weak going into next year’s primary election: