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  CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says a lawsuit over his decision to suspend lawmaker pay for failing to act on the state pension crisis will be a "landmark" case.

   Quinn attended a court hearing Tuesday involving a lawsuit filed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to force Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks.

   A Cook County Circuit Court judge set oral arguments for Sept. 18.

   Last month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' pay from the state budget after threatening consequences if they didn't act on pensions.

   The lawsuit asks the court to decide if Quinn's line-item veto fully eliminated lawmakers' salaries. If the court upholds Quinn's amendatory veto, plaintiffs want the court to declare Quinn's action unconstitutional.

   Quinn says his move is constitutional.

 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to hold around-the-clock talks to resolve the state's $97 billion pension shortfall.

   Daley will hold a news conference in Chicago on Monday to publicly urge the governor to get more aggressive in trying to solve the crisis.

   Daley has formed an exploratory committee as he considers running against Quinn in next spring's Democratic primary.

   Daley campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco told The Associated Press on Monday that "a confluence of issues" in the last week has increased the urgency for Illinois lawmakers to solve the state's worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

   Giangreco says that includes the lowering of Chicago's bond rate, Detroit's bankruptcy and a higher Illinois unemployment rate.

   He says the state's problem is "beyond a crisis now."

   

Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to call today for additional cuts and more scrutiny of money that's automatically sent to local governments, public transportation and other programs as he presents his proposed budget.

The Chicago Democrat will propose slashing $400 million from education in the fiscal year that starts July 1. It also will pin the blame for the cuts on lawmakers' failure to fix the state's worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

The automatic fund transfers include more than $2 billion in spending that Quinn's aides describe as "on autopilot." The amount those programs receive is set in state statute. Trying to cut it is likely to cause a contentious debate.

Quinn's proposed budget also attempts to pay down $2 billion in unpaid bills.
Published in Local News

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