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*** UPDATED x8 - Mendoza processing checks “now” - Another ILGOP response - Order posted - Comptroller’s office responds to questions - AG Madigan’s office responds - Munger responds - ILGOP responds - Welch responds *** Mendoza will release legislative pay checks, but will appeal

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* From Comptroller Mendoza…

I have consistently said that my office would continue to place elected officials’ paychecks at the back of the line to get paid unless a judge ordered me to stop.

A judge so ordered today.

As former Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka did in a 2013 legislator-pay case, I will release the back pay checks to all elected officials consistent with the judge’s order.

I have always argued that there is a sound policy reason, given the absence of a balanced state budget, to prioritize payments to the state’s most vulnerable – hospice care; child care; meals on wheels for seniors – ahead of paychecks for elected officials.

We will confer with the Attorney General and the consulting attorneys we retained from Holland and Knight, who advised us and the former Comptroller on this case, and ask them to appeal the judge’s ruling.

The brief filed this week by the attorneys for the legislative plaintiffs was pretty good. Click here to read it.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  I just talked to one of the plaintiffs in the case, Rep. Chris Welch. Here’s what he had to say…

“It’s unfortunate that we had to do this. But we had to stand up for ourselves because we couldn’t allow one branch of government to hold another branch of government hostage. I hope that the governor will now turn his attention to getting a budget done.”

Legislators have been paid just once since last June.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the ILGOP…

“Today’s decision by a Cook County judge to pay lawmakers before social service agencies and the vulnerable is a win for Mike Madigan and a loss for taxpayers and all those who want a balanced budget. Madigan’s long-time lawyer, Mike Kasper, led the lawsuit brought by Madigan-backed lawmakers. It’s outrageous that these politicians think they should be paid before the vulnerable, but that’s how the Madigan machine operates. This decision should be overturned on appeal.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Steven Yaffe

*** UPDATE 3 *** Press release…

Deputy Governor Leslie Munger released the following statement on lawmaker pay, calling on Comptroller Susana Mendoza to ask for an immediate stay of the judge’s ruling pending appeal.

“Today, we witnessed the ultimate act of self interest - lawmakers putting their very own paychecks ahead of taxpayers, vital human services and those in need. For more than two years, lawmakers have failed to do their job and now believe they should be paid for doing nothing. As the judge said last week, if lawmakers did what they were sent to Springfield to do and passed a balanced budget this wouldn’t be an issue.

“Rather than immediately releasing all the back pay, the Comptroller should request independent counsel and ask for an immediate stay of the ruling pending her appeal. The fact the Comptroller didn’t immediately request a stay is further proof that the Comptroller, Attorney General and Speaker Madigan are engaged in a coordinated abuse of taxpayers.”

Maybe somebody should tell her she lost the election to Mendoza last year. Just sayin…

*** UPDATE 4 *** I just talked to the attorney general’s spokesperson…

We’re reviewing the decision and we’re talking with the comptroller’s office and we’re aware that they’re interested in appealing.

*** UPDATE 5 *** I asked the comptroller’s spokesman two questions. 1) Why no request for a stay pending appeal? The answer…

I would direct legal strategy questions to the AG.

I already did that.

2) Will statewides get paid now too?…

All elected officials.

I haven’t seen the order, but the lawsuit only covered legislators, even though statewide electeds were also not getting paid on time.

*** UPDATE 6 *** There’s not much to it, but the judge’s written order is here. There’s nothing in there about paying all elected officials, by the way.

*** UPDATE 7 *** A legal source told me that obtaining a stay would require proving irreparable harm to the state. So take this for whatever it’s worth…

“It’s mind-boggling that Susana Mendoza is refusing to call for an immediate stay and instead simply deferring to Madigan while also apparently seeking to expand the ruling so she also gets paid. An insult to taxpayers.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Steven Yaffe

*** UPDATE 8 *** I asked Comptroller Mendoza’s office when the checks would be sent. I was told at 5:57 pm that they were “Processing now.”

posted by Rich Miller
Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 3:58 pm

Comments

  1. Balance has been restored with the force.

    Another political game has been quashed. Now let’s get back to passing a budget.

    Comment by Norseman Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:04 pm

  2. Can she withhold Munger’s pay instead? Courts didn’t rule on that. /s … kinda

    Comment by PublicServant Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:11 pm

  3. I have mixed feelings about this. They haven’t passed a budget, so why should they get paid? On the other hand, not getting paid didn’t motivate them to do anything (other than file a lawsuit).

    Comment by tobias846 Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:13 pm

  4. Great news. They should be paid. But I shouldn’t. Somehow that actually makes sense to me. Bizarro world.

    Comment by Anon Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:13 pm

  5. ==we couldn’t allow one branch of government to hold another branch of government hostage==

    but rauner holding the state hostage is ok?

    Comment by working stiff Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:18 pm

  6. Change of heart from Judge Garcia.

    Methinks a fellow judge pulled him aside during the last week and said: “hey, dude… What are ya doin’?! Judges are paid by the same continuing appropriation. We might be next.”

    Comment by Tommy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:19 pm

  7. Somebody should remind Rep. Welch, it wasn’t Rauner who was holding up your checks.

    Comment by LTSW Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:21 pm

  8. It’s all about ME…meanwhile a babies oxygen is in jeopardy..SURE that makes sense. I am so embarrassed by Illinois politics!

    Comment by justpeachy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:24 pm

  9. ===it wasn’t Rauner who was holding up your checks===

    Yeah. He had nothing to do with Munger’s decision whatsoever. Nope. Nada.

    Comment by Rich Miller Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:25 pm

  10. To the Post,

    The ruling is correct to the argument made. No Comptroller, be it Munger or Mendoza, and no Governor, be it Quinn or Rauner, have the authority to usurp the defining principles of the separation of powers. The mere idea that all FOUR think that pandering to the masses instead of upholding the oaths they took is disappointing to the idea that any of the four have a clue what they swore when they said they’d uphold the constitution of the state of Illinois.

    I am beyond thrilled. It never should have happened with Quinn, or Rauner… with Munger or Mendoza.

    Hows about this Mendoza Crew;

    Stop having Comptroller Mendoza break her own oath and pay out to the legislators, and continue the “appeal” solely so the ILSC can make clear that this won’t be tolerated again.

    Ugh.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:27 pm

  11. “I have mixed feelings about this. They haven’t passed a budget, so why should they get paid?”

    First, find the provision in statutory or constitutional law that permits this.

    Comment by Nick Name Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:35 pm

  12. So the Republicans are backing the Democratic Comptroller on this case because… Madigan? Oof, my head is going to explode from the centrifugal force from spinning so fast.

    Comment by Skeptic Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:39 pm

  13. I missed that part of the IL GOP response where they said GOP legislators would refuse to accept the paychecks.

    Comment by DudeAbide Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:39 pm

  14. If they are receiving their paychecks, perhaps they can now be held more accountable.

    After all, it would be hard to be getting paid and yet see all the harm being done by not having a budget. Granted that they have a conscious…

    Comment by anon Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:40 pm

  15. I didn’t realize that this was Judge Garcia again. This makes me a bit more hopeful for the class action suit over state employee health insurance (which is also in Garcia’s court).

    Comment by tobias846 Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:41 pm

  16. I don’t know what the constitutional/legalities are here, but I never liked this bit of righteous faux populism: it’s one thing to say legislators aren’t more deserving than any other state employee and another to say they’re *less* deserving. Mendoza’s election shows that kind of playing to the cheap seats only goes so far.

    Comment by lake county democrat Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:43 pm

  17. Inevitable that the clear reading of law prevails in the end.

    It’s the political messaging that is disheartening. Mendoza’s by her original refusal, and Rauner/ILGOP’s by portraying Mendoza as Madigan’s tool one day and her loss in court as a Madigan “win” the next.

    Comment by walker Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:44 pm

  18. Dear Mr. Yaffe,

    Madigans - 3
    Constitutionality - 0

    Being a shill is tough, I guess, but being a shill for an unconstitutional overreach to usurp the seperation of powers, that a Rauner-type shilling, even when Quinn and Mendoza think it works too.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:47 pm

  19. Oh my God I can’t believe Yaffe said that. Dude your boss wants Deloitte, Mackenzie, and any other consultant paid before the vulnerable. Wow I am shaking mad at the gall of the Raunerites. PERFIDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Honeybear Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:49 pm

  20. At least in the last couple of cycles, voters have proven themselves worthy of making some changes with their representation. Maybe it’s time to go back to that system and not play the paycheck game. Holding pay didn’t achieve any results, but did succeed at making it harder to reach any understanding. There’s definitely a lesson here.

    Comment by A guy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:50 pm

  21. In the grand scheme of things, I feel more abused by Rainer than Mendoza. So if we’re talking abusing taxpayers — of which I am one — I side with Mendoza and trust Mendoza.

    Comment by Anon Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:51 pm

  22. ===”…The fact the Comptroller didn’t immediately request a stay is further proof that the Comptroller, Attorney General and Speaker Madigan are engaged in a coordinated abuse of taxpayers.”===

    That Leslie Munger, a Wingman until the end.

    So I’m clear… Munger is taking the side of Queeg, and thinks the Strawberries are missing?

    Welp, when you’re cashing a check, for a job “you don’t need”, parroting Queeg makes sense.

    What’s next, Munger publicly asking Limcolnshire to keep up the fight on Right to Work zones? lol

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:52 pm

  23. “believe they should be paid for doing nothing.”

    We should listen to Leslie on this part as I believe the newly appointed Deputy Governor is probably an expert on this exact topic.

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:52 pm

  24. Leslie- we can’t miss you if you don’t go away.

    PS- how is the made up patronage job working out? You know the type that the governor criticized Pat Quinn for.

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:53 pm

  25. Munger is totally right.

    This looks like Mendoza is trying to pay lawmakers while still saving public face through an appeal. If Mendoza really wants to challenge this order, she should ask for a stay pending appeal.

    Otherwise lawmakers get their back pay and the breathing room they need to further delay a budget. Don’t let the boot off their necks now.

    Comment by Political Animal Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:53 pm

  26. They sure are putting this Deputy Governor front and center on a lot of high visibility issues. Don’t we have other deputy governors? Do we ever see them or hear from them?

    And Munger is reeeeaaaaaalllly reaching here. During her entire reign as comptroller, Mendoza has continued Munger’s tactic of not paying legislators. Yet ignore all that, she didn’t immediately request a stay so there’s your proof she is in Madigan’s pocket.

    Comment by Henry Francis Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:53 pm

  27. === Maybe somebody should tell her she lost the election to Mendoza last year. Just sayin…===

    Wasn’t she a named defendant in this suit? The brief shows her a defendant. Shouldn’t Mendoza’s name have been substituted for Mungers after filing? If it wasn’t, then Munger had every right to publicly respond.

    Just sayin,

    Comment by Louis G. Atsaves Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:54 pm

  28. ===This looks like Mendoza is trying to pay lawmakers while still saving public face through an appeal. If Mendoza really wants to challenge this order, she should ask for a stay pending appeal.===

    Like I said…

    “Hows about this Mendoza Crew;

    Stop having Comptroller Mendoza break her own oath and pay out to the legislators, and continue the “appeal” solely so the ILSC can make clear that this won’t be tolerated again.”

    It’s more about the oath, constitutionality, and making this decision firm by the ILSC.

    Asking for a stay? That’s grandstanding in of itself.

    Mendoza is “appealing”, so what’s the beef.

    You object? No, you strenuously object?

    Yeah, ok.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:57 pm

  29. Press release…

    Deft Wing released the following statement:

    Get to work Legislators. Now. All of you! And that includes you, Gov. Rauner. Pronto, lead, please. Deputy Gov. Munger, you are excused however.

    Comment by Deft Wing Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 4:59 pm

  30. We’re reviewing the decision and we’re talking with the comptroller’s office and we’re aware that they’re interested in appealing.

    “Gee, I don’t know … Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”

    I mean, calm down AG’s office, try not to sound so enthused.

    Comment by The Captain Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:02 pm

  31. Should the person who was trying to be paid out of the Health Insurance Reserve Fund really be the one commenting on who should be getting paid before whom?

    Comment by Juice Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:06 pm

  32. @Louis Atsaves- Of course Munger had the “right” to make public comment, this is America with the 1st Amnedment and all.

    But, as a patronage worker she may want to lie low given the unconstitutional nature of her actions as the appointed Comptroller.

    And maybe should should try winning an election before directing constitutional officers on their jobs.

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:09 pm

  33. So is Leslie Munger refusing her paycheck? Now that is she given a full patronage insider corrupt job, as well as her full staff, even though voters have said no on her election 3 times. Btw does anyone know did Munger get pension credit as Comptroller and is now rolling it into he DG role? Granted it is nice to finally see what her role as DG is.

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:09 pm

  34. They are not the ones holding the state hostage you can’t hold them 100 % soley responsible because there isn’t a budget we have a governor that isn’t willing to do his part

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:12 pm

  35. I am a fan of Mendoza, but she was wrong in not paying the legislators. Aside from the unconstitutionality of it all, it would be fun to watch her thwart 1.4% at every turn. The IL Constitution is not a recommendation. It is the supreme law of the land. And it is constantly being tested by republicans in power everywhere. Too bad the judicials can’t order the governor to do his job. With the separation of powers clause existing and all.

    Comment by PENSIONS ARE OFF LIMITS Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:13 pm

  36. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=zF82qVCJYXs

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:14 pm

  37. @anonymous, keep venting. If my memory is correct, Munger declined her pension benefits when appointed Comptroller. If I am wrong, correct me.

    Mendoza wants to appeal this?

    Comment by Louis G. Atsaves Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:24 pm

  38. === If my memory is correct, Munger declined her pension benefits when appointed Comptroller. ===

    Wow, a rich person declined a public pension. I’m so impressed. I guess that’s why we taxpayers owe her a cushy job in Rauner’s office.

    Comment by Norseman Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:33 pm

  39. It was a red-meat, Banana Republic play, whether it was Quinn, Rauner, Munger, Mendoza, Katrina, or Lisa Madigan backing it.

    Separation of powers is a foundation stone of American republican democracy, no matter the current cast of Romper Room Springfield 2017.

    Comment by wordslinger Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:40 pm

  40. ===Otherwise lawmakers get their back pay and the breathing room they need to further delay a budget. Don’t let the boot off their necks now.===

    That pesky constitution is there to stop ignorance like 3rd World Republic tactics like… boots and necks… and keeps the separation of powers… separate.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:51 pm

  41. –Munger:”Today, we witnessed the ultimate act of self interest - lawmakers putting…own paychecks ahead of taxpayers, vital human services.”–

    Listen to this one.

    I don’t think Cher, Diana Ross or Beyonce has a posse of 23 that she needs to travel with on the taxpayer dime.

    Seriously, what’s the nut on that soft landing?

    Comment by wordslinger Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 5:57 pm

  42. ===“It’s mind-boggling that Susana Mendoza is refusing to call for an immediate stay and instead simply deferring to Madigan while also apparently seeking to expand the ruling so she also gets paid. An insult to taxpayers.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Steven Yaffe===

    It’s an insult to taxpayers to follow the constitution and pay the elected officials, but not an insult to taxpayers by paying state workers without a budget as the law would prescribe?

    Is that it Yaffe or are you so confused your remarks seem to work if you add taxpayer to anything?

    Yaffe is against the Illinois Constitution?

    Pay without a budget.

    Withhold with unconstitutional powers to do so.

    That Yaffe, lol

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 6:00 pm

  43. Failed comptroller with Rauneritis thinks the judge wants a balanced budget with reforms, mind boggling

    Comment by Rabid Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 6:18 pm

  44. An insult to taxpayers, what about the children and the venerable feelings? The GOP is only in it for the taxpayers? Mind boggling

    Comment by Rabid Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 6:30 pm

  45. ===“It’s mind-boggling that Susana Mendoza is refusing to call for an immediate stay and instead simply deferring to Madigan while also apparently seeking to expand the ruling so she also gets paid. An insult to taxpayers.”===

    Actually, what is mind-boggling is that the governor won’t present a balanced budget to ensure things like this don’t happen. Everyone should get paid. Instead he simply blames Madigan. That is the insult to tax payers.

    Comment by Ducky LaMoore Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 6:41 pm

  46. Regarding whether it applies to others — the language of the order states that it granted for reasons stated in open court.

    It will be interesting to review the transcript to see if that point was raised. At times the order in the transcript is more expansive than the simple “motion granted” you see in the stamped order.

    It will also be interesting to see how fast the appellate court moves on this. Believe it or not, just getting a notice of appeal the two blocks from Daley Center to the First District can take two weeks. I have no idea why. It should take one day, max, if it is being done by hand.

    Unless the process is expedited, it is (off the top of my head) roughly 63 days for the Circuit Court to prepare the record, 35 for the plaintiff to brief, 35 to respond, 14 to reply, and then oral arguments months later. This could drag on for a while.

    Comment by Gooner Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 7:17 pm

  47. Given the terrible FY17 fiscal condition, what was the vital public interest served by Munger and 23 of her posse landing on the state payroll right after she was rejected by the voters?

    What critical need are the 24 of them fulfilling that wasn’t done before?

    What is the annual cost to the taxpayers: salaries, health insurance, perks?

    What’s the ROI to the taxpayer that the 24 are providing as members of the governor’s staff that justifies this increased expense?

    Comment by wordslinger Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 7:17 pm

  48. Where was Munger’s concern for self interest when she Cash Dashed $71 million for the Governor’s revolving funds just before Mendoza took office so it could pay Rauner’s high paid consultants without waiting in the GRF line? No self-interest here huh?

    Comment by Just Sayin .... Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 8:05 pm

  49. Word. I cant agree with you more. Three times in a week.WOW.

    Comment by Blue dog dem Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 8:58 pm

  50. Scofflaw Steve condones wingmans stance

    Comment by Rabid Thursday, Mar 23, 17 @ 10:08 pm

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