State

Quinn stands to collect $74K in back salary

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn is set to get about $74,000 in back pay now that Illinois lawmakers have finally approved a pension deal.

The governor used his line-item veto power this summer when he halted legislators' salaries, saying they shouldn't get paid until they addressed the nearly $100 billion pensions crisis. He also stopped accepting his own paychecks.

A judge disagreed with Quinn in September and the comptroller began issuing checks to lawmakers. But Quinn still didn't accept his own salary.

Lawmakers approved the pension reform plan this week and sent the measure, which could save the state $160 billion over 30 years, to Quinn on Wednesday.

But, the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reported, Quinn's uncollected paychecks remain in Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's office.

"The governor has not yet requested to resume his pay," said comptroller spokesman Brad Hahn.

Quinn, who earns $177,400 a year as governor, has been living off his savings and other investment income since he stopped accepting his paychecks.

His critics called the move a populist stunt in the midst of his 2014 re-election campaign, at a time when Quinn's approval rating is among the lowest of any governor in the country. But supporters said the move showed he was leading by example at a difficult economic time.

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