* We had a long, thorough discussion about Judge Cohen’s ruling yesterday. There’s not much in today’s coverage that expands on what I’ve already told you and what you commented on.
But there are some updates. Tribune…
Dealt a loss in his attempt to wipe out lawmakers’ paychecks, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn will try to put the ruling on ice Friday as he attempts to kick up to the Illinois Supreme Court the legal question of whether his move was constitutional.
Those efforts were complicated by Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s decision to send money electronically overnight to lawmakers’ bank accounts for the checks they missed in August and September while the dispute played out in rounds of legal briefs and hearings.
Subscribers know more about the current status of the checks. But this is from NBC 5…
Quinn’s camp immediately filed a motion to appeal that decision and a hearing was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday.
I’ll let you know what happens.
Topinka, a Republican who controls the state’s checkbook, said late Thursday her office already was processing the checks and that lawmakers with direct deposit should have money in their bank accounts Friday morning. Paper checks also would be in the mail, she said. She also criticized the Democratic governor for what she called “game playing.”
Topinka’s quick action brought a rebuke from Quinn’s office.
“We’re disappointed that she started to issue paychecks,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson. “Her enthusiasm to hand out paychecks to legislators appears to exceed her interest in public pension reform.”
* On to the nuggets. SJ-R…
A co-chairman of the pension reform conference committee declined to speculate Thursday when the committee will finish its work.
“I think we’re very close (but) I have stopped making predictions on time because mine have all been very wrong,” said Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook.
Nekritz, who was at a meeting with some other committee members Thursday, said the outcome of the lawsuit should have no impact on the talks.
“It didn’t have any impact when the governor made that decision. I don’t think it will now,” she said. “We’re still focusing on getting some legislation that will get (the necessary) votes.”
The governor’s office is represented by outside legal counsel, Steven Pflaum, and a Quinn aide said Thursday it was unclear exactly where the legal tab now stands in defending against the Madigan/Cullerton lawsuit.
“I can tell you in the grand scheme of things, it’ll be pennies compared to $5 million a day,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said, referring to the multimillion-dollar rate at which Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grows daily. […]
The total for legislators’ pay for August, September and October stands at $1,000,581 per month, though it is unclear how much additional interest will have to be paid out on top to comply with Cohen’s order.
* From AFSCME…