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Madigan’s U-Turn

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015

* Subscribers knew about this in the morning

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has filed legislation that would block a controversial pay raise for lawmakers and one of his co-sponsors expects an almost-immediate vote.

Rep. David McSweeney said Tuesday that the legislation would block the 2 percent cost-of-living increase that lawmakers are due. McSweeney is Republican from Cary and a co-sponsor of the Democratic speaker’s legislation. McSweeney said he believes the full House will vote later Tuesday.

* More

On Twitter Tuesday, Rep. Ron Sandack, R- Downers Grove, said: “House Reps tried for TWO weeks to advance our bill to suspend the Dems’ COLA raise. My, how things change, yes? #Duh”

And Rauner’s spokesman, Lance Trover, said in a statement, “As we approach the end of the month, Speaker Madigan and the politicians he controls have one final chance to side with Republicans and make a clean up or down vote on stopping themselves from getting an automatic pay increase.”

Madigan previously would not comment on the raises. But last week he told reporters the pay raise wasn’t in his spending plan.

“We did not appropriate for the pay raise or the COLA adjustment,” Madigan said.

Watch the debate on our live coverage feed.

…Adding… Press release…

The Illinois House today approved legislation to repeal the automatic cost-of-living adjustment that lawmakers recently received according to State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), one of the lead co-sponsors of the legislation.‎ Legislators recently received a two percent automatic cost-of-living adjustment, which amounts to about an additional $1,563 annually. HB 576 eliminates the automatic COLA. The Senate must now pass the bill.

“Repealing the automatic pay increase is the right thing to do,” McSweeney said. “Giving legislators a pay increase when we have not passed a permanent budget is unconscionable. Now that we have rejected the pay increase, let’s finish doing our job and pass a permanent budget without raising taxes.”

Legislators are required by law to accept the COLA, which began on July 1st. McSweeney has already donated the full yearly amount of the COLA to charity. He donated $781.50 to the McHenry County Pioneer Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged and disabled people achieve their full potential as individuals. He also donated an additional $781.50 to the Night Ministry, a non-profit group that helps homeless children and adults.

McSweeney has voluntarily cut his own pay and district office budget by 10%. He’s also not going to accept his paychecks until the state budget crisis is solved. Earlier this year, McSweeney introduced House Bill 1313 which eliminates COLA’s for legislators and forces them to take furlough days.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Madigan: “Routine” filing *** AG Madigan may appeal pension ruling to US Supreme Court

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015

* Amanda Vinicky reports that the Illinois attorney general’s office has filed a request to extend the August 6th deadline to appeal the state Supreme Court’s pension ruling to the top court in the land

[AG Madigan’s] office on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an extension, so it’ll have until Sept. 10 to [file an appeal].

John Fitzgerald, an attorney for retired public school teachers, says they’ll fight it.

“This is entirely a matter of Illinois State Law. There is no basis for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.”

The Attorney General’s petition says the pension case “raises important questions” about states’ rights to use police powers to modify contracts, like public pensions.

“The principal questions presented are (1) whether the reserved powers doctrine prevents a State from abdicating its police powers authority to modify its own contractual obligations in extreme circumstances that imperil the general welfare and (2) if not, whether the Illinois Supreme Court identified the correct standard by which the validity of a State’s exercise of its police power is judged.”

Discuss.

*** UPDATE *** From the AG’s office…

We have asked for an extension of the deadline to file a cert petition, which is a fairly routine request. With the decision in the City of Chicago’s pension case late last week, we are continuing to consider all of the arguments and the best next step.

Doesn’t sound like any final decisions have been made.

- Posted by Rich Miller   120 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Cullerton unsure of pay hike rollback
* Madigan: "We are involved in an historic struggle"
* More lip service
* Madigan's U-Turn
* Question of the day
* *** LIVE *** Overtime session coverage
* Illinois Credit Unions – Stepping Up from all Corners of the State
* Today's map
* Madigan: "You’d better be strong or you’re going to be gone"
* *** UPDATED x1 - Madigan: "Routine" filing *** AG Madigan may appeal pension ruling to US Supreme Court
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