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No current interest in pursuing back interest

Monday, Jan 13, 2014

* When Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka was ordered by a Cook County judge to immediately issue lawmaker paychecks, she didn’t take the time to calculate the owed interest. The judge ordered interest paid in the wake of Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of lawmaker salaries due to their inaction on pension reform, but that interest hasn’t yet been calculated or paid and it doesn’t look like it ever will

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Saturday he will not seek interest payments lawmakers are due for going without pay for two months last summer, a shift from earlier comments by a spokeswoman who had indicated the Democratic leader would work to get the few extra bucks.

“We have no intention of pursuing the interest on withheld salaries,” Cullerton said in a statement. […]

If they sought just 1 percent interest each month — the monthly rate Illinois must pay vendors for falling 90 days behind on bills — taxpayers would be responsible for another $21,720. Divided evenly, that amounts to about $122 per lawmaker. […]

A spokesman for Madigan said he was “not aware of any discussions” about the possibility of seeking interest payments. Meanwhile, Quinn believes lawmakers should not accept the money, according to spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


12 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    In an election year, no one’s going to get caught in a trick bag chasing nickels and dimes. You’d think, anyway.


  2. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Maybe Bruce can show his magnanimity by contributing the interest shortage. That’s like dropping a nickel in a tin cup to him.


  3. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    == Quinn believes lawmakers should not accept the money, according to spokeswoman Brooke Anderson. ==

    I Quinn saying they shouldn’t take the back pay? If so did he take his?


  4. - VTTK17A1 - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    The Illinois Supreme Court issued the order. I don’t think orders are optional. If the court has ordered interest to be paid, doesn’t it have to be paid?

    If the GA members don’t want the interest payment, why not donate it to charity? At least the money would be going to help someone and not line some elected official’s pockets.


  5. - BIG R. Ph. - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    She wasn’t 90 days late with THOSE paychecks. Only 2 months.
    Sorry, no sympathy here


  6. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    Any interest should be paid out of the PQ campaign account since it was such an obvious political stunt.


  7. - W.S. Wolcott - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    Tricky stuff here. The lawmakers who wanted, and got, their backpay should support the thousands of state employees who are owed back pay going back 2+ years, not 2 months. The lawmakers who want interest should also support paying the interest, 7% I believe, owed to the same employees still waiting 2+ years. A tricky spot to be in with elections looming…


  8. - zatoichi - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    How can there be any talk of interest when the 90 day target was not met?


  9. - Stones - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    I agree with VITK17A1 - it’s a Court order and those aren’t optional. I don’t see where there is a choice to pay or not to pay. It would be interesting to know the final amount of interest that this publicity stunt cost us.


  10. - DuPage - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Sloppy work by someone in Topinka’s office.


  11. - Downstate Weed Chewing Hick - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    It’s not optional for the State, but it is optional for the lawmakers. If they dont pursue enforcement of the order, the Court isnt going to do anything about it on its own. But it isnt 1% and it doesnt only kick in after 90 days.

    “Judgments recovered in any court shall draw interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of the judgment until satisfied or 6% per annum when the judgment debtor is a unit of local government, as defined in Section 1 of Article VII of the Constitution, a school district, a community college district, or any other governmental entity. When judgment is entered upon any award, report or verdict, interest shall be computed at the above rate, from the time when made or rendered to the time of entering judgment upon the same, and included in the judgment.” 735 ILCS 5/2-1303.


  12. - RNUG - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Smart political move would be to have the interest donated to the pension funds.


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