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Updates and nuggets

Friday, Sep 27, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 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.

* AP

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.”

* Sun-Times

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…



  1. - RonOglesby - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    “Her enthusiasm to hand out paychecks to legislators appears to exceed her interest in public pension reform.”

    Funny. It seems politicians love ignoring court rulings or think delaying action based on a court ruling is fine if you politically disagree with a position or are using something as political leverage.

    Someone should call Quinn on that.

  2. - Mason born - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    –“Her enthusiasm to hand out paychecks to legislators appears to exceed her interest in public pension reform.” –

    Quinns Enthusiasm to grab headlines appears to exceed his interest in finding solutions to the states problems.

    –“I can tell you in the grand scheme of things, it’ll be pennies compared to $5 million a day,” –

    You know 100k here and 100k there sooner or later your talking about real money but hey as long as my boss gets reelected who cares i don’t have to foot the bill.

  3. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    A State Constitutional Officer following a court order and doing their appointed duties in accordance with the law. What a concept! How dare she?

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    JBT is doing her job responsibly and efficiently rather than engaging in silly games for transient self-interest.

    What a concept. Some could learn from that.

  5. - And I Approved This Message - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    Brooke Anderson gets a 15 yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

  6. - walkinfool - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    JBT’s some nugget!

  7. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    AFSCME got (or will be getting) their back wages. I’m not sure the point of their tweet.

  8. - OneMan - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:19 am:

    “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.”

    “It is sad that Governor Quinn’s desire to continue to score cheap political points extends to encouraging others to disobey the courts of this state, fine and true” Said OneMan pretending to be JBT’s press secretary.

  9. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    ==“Her enthusiasm to hand out paychecks to legislators appears to exceed her interest in public pension reform.” ==

    No, she has enthusiasm for following a court order. I’m dismayed by the governor more and more everyday. He has absolutely no idea what he is doing. He’s a good guy but can’t govern worth a darn.

  10. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    Quinn really needs to drop this sillyness before it backfires.

  11. - Hank - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    It’s still a popular win for PQ
    He tried to put some pressure on lawmakers by witholding pay but those damn evil Republicans (JBT) paid them anyway!

  12. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Bravo Judy.

  13. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:24 am:

    –Quinn really needs to drop this sillyness before it backfires.–

    Not going to happen. He has a hot romance with the Tribbie edit board he wants to keep going as long as possible.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:26 am:

    Quinn is just upset the Comptroller Topinka knows how to follow a court order …

    Well done and well played, Comptroller.

  15. - Living in Machiaville - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:37 am:

    I’ve read several times on these pages that “Pa Quinn is a good guy” but can’t govern worth a darn. I don’t know him personally, maybe he is a “good guy”, but all I have to go on are his actions. And whether it’s governing or political he appears for all intent and purposes to not be a good guy. I could be wrong. Just saying.

  16. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    If Quinn is not careful the electorate is going to have an “Ah Ha” moment and see through this charade. It may be already happening.

    He should drop the appeal

  17. - Wensicia - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    We’re disappointed that Quinn doesn’t understand that a court order is meant to be followed.

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    === “Her enthusiasm to hand out paychecks to legislators appears to exceed her interest in public pension reform.” ===

    “His enthusiasm to pull off sideshow stunts and withhold paychecks to legislators appears to exceed his interest in following court orders or acting like an adult.”

    Fixed that for you.

  19. - Reality Check - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    @Demoralized, legislators got their back pay, but they haven’t passed a supplemental for state employees’ wages owed dating to 2011. Guessing you didn’t click the link before commenting.

  20. - Coach - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    To Brooke Anderson your pennies might not mean anything to you but to me as a tax payer it is my share and I some day would like to have all my shares of pennies back that you and the Gov. have and will in the future cost me with lawyer fees!You might have money to throw away but the taxpayers of this state don’t! Here is my advice to you, the Governor, and the Legislature! Pass the gambling bill and use that money for pension debt. Then increase the income / property taxes for a few years to make up the rest of the money owed to the pension debt, then start managing the money correctly after that!

  21. - JoeD - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    On Kass’ show a few hours ago, Kass asked Sen. Raoul if pensions would come up in veto session, January or after March primaries. Raoul said he hoped to have a pension plan voted on in Oct. veto session.

  22. - Earl Shumaker - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    Judy Topinka is abiding with her oath to support the Illinois Constitution and rule of law. It is tragic for this State that the Governor, Madigan, Nekritz and others feel that they can be selective in supporting only those segments of the Illinois Constitution that meets their political needs

  23. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    @Reality Check:

    I’m not in a place where that happened so I wasn’t aware of that, but I swear I saw a directive from CMS that state agencies needed to process that pay. Maybe I’m mis-remembering. I guess that I forgot there were two separate issues. I know FY13 back pay has been processed. My bad.

  24. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    @Reality Check:

    By the way, I don’t use twitter so I didn’t know that was a link. Didn’t even try to click it.

  25. - Fed up - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    Quinn is becoming more and more of an embarrassment. He lied to the whole state to barely get elected against a weak opponent and he is incredibly lucky no other democrat has the slightest interest in being Gov.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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