CHICAGO – A Cook County, Ill. Circuit Court judge sided with lawmakers Thursday in ruling that Gov. Pat Quinn violated the state constitution when he stripped legislative pay from the fiscal 2014 budget in an attempt to pressure them to act on pension reforms.

The decision delivers a blow to Quinn’s efforts to push lawmakers to act. His office said the state would appeal the decision and seek a stay preventing the distribution of paychecks. “The reason I suspended legislative paychecks in the first place – and refused to accept my own – is because Illinois taxpayers can’t afford an endless cycle of promises, excuses, delays and inertia on the most critical challenge of our time,” Quinn said in a statement.

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