Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar


Latest Post | Last 10 Posts | Archives



Cullerton unsure of pay hike rollback

Posted in:

* As I told subscribers earlier today, the Senate wasn’t consulted beforehand and won’t be back to town until after legislators receive their first paychecks with the COLA increases in them, which means there are some constitutional issues

The Illinois House on Tuesday voted to repeal the annual cost-of-living increase that bumped up lawmakers’ salaries as Democrats who control the chamber tried to blunt Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s contention that legislators should not get raises while the state budget goes unresolved. […]

But a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said his office would have to review the constitutionality of the pay raise legislation. That’s because a Cook County court previously has ruled it would violate the state constitution for legislative salaries to be changed in the middle of a term. That court decision followed an effort in 2013 by then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to hold up lawmaker pay as he tried to get them to send him a cost-cutting pension bill.

“It’s something that the court ruled, that, because of separation of powers, you can’t have a situation where the executive branch, like Gov. Quinn, holds up people’s salaries in order to force them to vote for a bill,” Cullerton said last week.

“Unfortunately, it’s the state constitution. And I think you would understand that if we didn’t like some judicial decision, we said, ‘Oh, Supreme Court, you’re working for $1 now,’ that would obviously not be a part of the separation of powers. It’s the same principle.”

* From the Constitution

A member shall receive a salary and allowances as provided by law, but changes in the salary of a member shall not take effect during the term for which he has been elected.

The salary changes were approved in the previous term. Once they start getting paychecks, it’s probably not legal to lower those salaries.

The big question is, though, would anybody have the, um, temerity to sue? Probably not.

* React from the governor’s office…

“Governor Rauner appreciates today’s action in the House and thanks all those members who showed leadership on this issue. We encourage President Cullerton to swiftly move this legislation to the governor’s desk for his signature. Governor Rauner is ready to work with Speaker Madigan, Leader Durkin and all members of the General Assembly to pass true structural reforms and a balanced budget.”

posted by Rich Miller
Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:56 pm

Comments

  1. It’s absolutely unconstitutional to lower the salaries now. That’s pretty clear by the language in the document.

    But I highly doubt anyone will bring a suit. (Besides, has the language in the document ever mattered before?)

    Comment by thunderspirit Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:01 pm

  2. – It’s absolutely unconstitutional to lower the salaries now. That’s pretty clear by the language in the document.

    But I highly doubt anyone will bring a suit. (Besides, has the language in the document ever mattered before?)

    Well said thunderspirit, as in issuing checks with no appropriations… Hrmm, what does that mean?

    Comment by Allen D Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:10 pm

  3. The Gov wants to work to fix the budget??? Here is a novel idea, put forth a budget and gave Durkin sponsor it…

    Comment by Wow Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:17 pm

  4. Rainer forgot to add:
    Never mind that I introduced them in my budget. I therefore forgive myself too.

    Comment by Austin Blvd Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:22 pm

  5. Don’t think Rauner saw that one coming! Best not to spend all of your time bashing the Speaker when it’s a good bet the Speaker and the Senate President ultimately have each others’ backs.

    Comment by phocion Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:22 pm

  6. That wacky Governor - always proposing Unconstitutional solutions and then praising Unconstitutioal legislation… What a guy!

    Comment by Triple fat Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:22 pm

  7. sort of like when negotiated raises were denied to employees of DHS and IDOC? The house and senate have not had any problem with helping deny it then delaying the votes on appropriations to pay it back after several judges have ruled they must….. love self serving blinders

    Comment by me Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:25 pm

  8. What bothers me, in situations such as this, is the line f thinking that it’s ‘ok’ to not follow our Constitution as long as *we* figure no one will sue. Should the constitution only be followed when it’s pleasing to so? Clung to for dear life with the battle cry of ‘that is unconstitutional’ when we’re displeased?

    Comment by Cindy Lou Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:25 pm

  9. Constitution Must be Followed. No Choice.

    Comment by x ace Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:33 pm

  10. Madigan: “Sorry, Rauner, I tried. This triangulation thing sure is a bummer at times like this.”

    Comment by Wensicia Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:41 pm

  11. “Wait. Wait. You mean BOTH have to vote to stop the COLA? Oh… well… I didn’t know THAT…” - Gov. Rauner after lighting a “Victory Cigar”

    Comment by Oswego Willy Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:46 pm

  12. This is not typical of MJM to miss this political move.
    SNAFU

    Comment by Anonymous Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:47 pm

  13. The frat boys are chomping at the bit for Cullerton to refuse to move the bill.

    Comment by Norseman Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:55 pm

  14. The top casino wagering tax rate is 50% and does not apply until $200 million. So only the Des Plaines casino pays any amount at this tax rate. A 90% tax rate on amounts over $1 million would bring in $800 million and deposited in the Common School fund could be a great help in funding Education…finally. 10% of the pot for administering a licensed numbers game is generous. The 30% currently received is pretty lame.

    Comment by Beaner Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:59 pm

  15. Good cop-Bad cop as a way for MJM and Cullerton to bring to light the fact that the Gov., who has been hounding them to rescind the raise, didn’t know that to do so would be unconstitutional?

    Comment by Former Hoosier Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:00 pm

  16. ===The frat boys are chomping at the bit for Cullerton to refuse to move the bill.===

    That is probably true.

    - Norseman - you remember the days when we all here would mock Quinn for not having Floor Leaders, let alone effective Floor Leaders?

    Has it now evolved to the Governor’s Office forgetting that legislative stuff entirely and just campaign all the time against the Legislative Leaders… for sport?

    Not the way to run a railroad.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:00 pm

  17. Just heard wbbm radio describe the House vote as a victory for Rauner.

    Comment by Concerned citizen Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:08 pm

  18. Yes, Bruce has brought them to their knees.

    Comment by Austin Blvd Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:14 pm

  19. Who hoo. One Uncondtitutional victory down - a couple of Unconstitutional victories to go! The Governor is on fire.

    Comment by Triple fat Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:17 pm

  20. Unconstitutional to reduce salaries.
    Unconstitutional to reduce pensions.
    Unconstitutional to stop paying payroll.
    The fiscal train is out of control and can’t be stopped.

    This is well teed up for a state-wide vote on keeping these constitutional provisions.

    Comment by Downstate Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:20 pm

  21. Looks like a win, win, win for Madigan.
    1) Takes heat off Dems
    2) Gives Rauner a meaningless ‘victory’ that gives Madigan leverage in the stalemate (I met you half way; your turn…)
    3) Cullerton will stand on Constitutional Principle, meaning the GA gets to keep its raise.
    Check, Check, Check >>> Win, Win, Win!

    Comment by Slide Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:24 pm

  22. ===Unconstitutional to reduce salaries.===
    ===Unconstitutional to reduce pensions.===
    ===Unconstitutional to stop paying payroll.===

    You should consider this to read as being unconstitutional for the State to demand work without pay and to promise pensions in exchange for work, and then break those promises.

    ===The fiscal train is out of control and can’t be stopped.===

    We’re talking about 1% of the state’s GDP here. Gain some perspective.

    Comment by Anon Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:38 pm

  23. Cullerton should allow the Senate to vote and pass the bill. There is absolutely no reason why he should be punished for being the only adult in the process.

    Let Lisa Madigan and the Courts be the adults. That’s the best way to govern.

    Comment by Anon Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:39 pm

  24. “to pass true structural reforms and a balanced budget”

    Still clinging to their non-starter reforms. The budget held hostage over reforms that will not happen.

    Comment by Bulldog58 Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:39 pm

  25. Please explain why the Republicans did not vote for a tax freeze.

    Comment by Mama Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:44 pm

Add a comment

Your Name:

Email:

Web Site:

Comments:



Last 10 posts:

more Posts (Archives)

WordPress Mobile Edition available at alexking.org.

powered by WordPress.