Judge denies Quinn bid to keep lawmaker pay freeze

By Sara Burnett

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Sept. 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this July 10, 2013 file photo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks during a news conference in Chicago.

M. Spencer Green, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge is denying Gov. Pat Quinn's request to stop paychecks from being issued to lawmakers while a lawsuit is appealed.

Judge Neil Cohen says Quinn violated the state constitution by withholding the checks for two months because legislators hadn't addressed the state's pension crisis.

Lawyers were in Cook County court Friday, a day after a judge ordered Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to immediately pay legislators the paychecks they've missed since the governor's July veto.

Lawmakers with direct deposit have already received paychecks, but 21 who only get paper checks haven't.

Legislators make a base salary of about $67,000, plus bonuses for serving in leadership. The bonuses haven't been paid either.

Quinn's attorneys say they're appealing and filing an emergency request to an state appeals court to stop the lawmakers from being paid.

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