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Furlough logic

Thursday, Jun 12, 2014

* Senate President John Cullerton defends eliminating legislative furlough days in the new state budget

Cullerton defended the legislature’s decision to stop taking unpaid furlough days after five years. It will result in lawmakers collecting at least $3,100 more in salary next year.

The decision actually sprang from Quinn’s move last year to cut lawmaker salaries from the budget because they didn’t pass pension reform during the spring session. Cullerton and Madigan went to court saying Quinn couldn’t do that. Quinn’s lawyers argued it could be done because the legislature was already cutting its members’ salaries through furloughs.

The courts ruled against Quinn. Given that, Cullerton said, lawmakers couldn’t then turn around and continue unpaid furloughs.

I guess I see his point, but as long as Quinn signs the bill which includes making legislative salaries a continuing appropriation, furloughs probably won’t be an issue again.

* Related…

* Finke: Quinn veto budget? Not likely

* Lawmakers split on what to do with salary windfall - Springfield-area lawmakers are split on what they plan to do with a windfall pay raise they’ll see in the new budget year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Good policy point, but terrible from an electoral politics angle. Of course, since it was a gimmick in the first place, people shouldn’t have put so much stock in the furloughs.


  2. - DuPage - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Cut pensions, increase salary? Sounds like business as usual.


  3. - Waffle Fries - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Lawmakers take a raise by DSPs making $9.35 an hour get passed over again….


  4. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    … the ISC made us stop the furloughs


  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    Shouldn’t this have gone to an advisory referendum first?

    A bump of $3,100 represents 376 hours of work — nearly 10 full-time weeks — under Illinois’ minimum wage.


  6. - A guy... - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    These guys are incredibly daft.


  7. - Black Ivy - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Furlough days for legislators are still warranted in my opinion. Far be it from me to ask elected officials to sacrifice anything…


  8. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    I generally believe in compensating legislators for their work. As a primary reason, it helps ensure “everyday people” can serve in the legislature while giving up all or parts of another job. Otherwise, only the rich, retired, etc. would be able to afford to be a legislator.


  9. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    The furloughs were more grandstanding then anything. The money saved is almost just a rounding error on the GA Travel reimbrusement requests anyway. Besides They shouldnt be afraid to be paid for working. This is like being afraid of supporting a road project that will bring in a jobs and maybe add acces to creat a retail park, because somone called it “pork” spending.

    There is nothing wron with the GA being paid for the work they do. If voters have a problem with the work quality, then thats why we vote. But this complaining about the GA salaries has always been a ridiculous distraction.


  10. - Walker - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===this complaining about the GA salaries has always been a ridiculous distraction.===

    True, but like a lot of things in politics, it doesn’t add to a hill of beans, bit it rallies the unhappy populace.

    This level of salary allows those who are motivated, to seriously work the job full time. Many have given up a lot of former income to do their public service. The full-timers do much of the real work outside of leadership. We should have more, not less, of them.


  11. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Everyone who said Quinn’s campaign shouldn’t have been harping on his failure to release a budget should apologize. They brilliantly forced this error. I can’t believe Rauner’s team was duped so easily. They come off like amateurs… Which they are.


  12. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Oops. Wrong post.


  13. - anon - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    love the press–th GA passes legislation to eliminate their 2014 cost of living raises and then get criticized by the media for not renewing a cut in pay that has been determined to be unconstitutional–and the legislators crying the loudest about the furloughs going away are the ones that voted against freezing their pay!


  14. - Soccertease - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 8:38 pm:

    So we’re possibly going to have agency layoffs, but it’s OK forego furlough days for legislators? I’m sure furlough days will come up again for merit comp. employees, so why don’t the legislators have to share in the sacrifice? Cullerton is just as bad as Madigan.


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