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Legislators Sue to Restore Timely Pay for Lawmakers

State Reps. Emanuel Chris Welch, Kate Cloonen, Mary Flowers, Sonya Harper, Lisa Hernandez and Silvana Tabares released the following statement Friday regarding their lawsuit to restore legislators’ pay and end unwarranted political pressure being brought by Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Leslie Munger:

“The decision by multimillionaire Comptroller Leslie Munger and billionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner was a thinly veiled attempt to force their political opponents into taking positions in support of the governor’s positions and against the beliefs of their constituents,” Welch said. “Many lawmakers don’t have the multimillion dollar side incomes the governor and comptroller enjoy.”

“Our lawsuit is a principled stand for an independent Legislature that cannot be bullied by any governor, Republican or Democratic,” Cloonen said. “The 177 members of the General Assembly are elected to serve the people of our districts, but the comptroller’s and the governor’s actions show they believe we are elected to serve them, and that they can use illegal means to force us to bow to their extreme agenda.”

“Just like when Pat Quinn tried to eliminate lawmakers’ salaries in an attempt to get his way, the governor and comptroller would set a dangerous precedent under which any future governor or comptroller could unilaterally coerce duly elected legislators by tying their salaries to any number of demands that could hurt local residents and their families,” Tabares said. “We urge the courts to recognize the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government, not a subsidiary of a billionaire governor.”

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Cook County.