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Question of the day

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006

The House voted yesterday to reject a 10 percent pay raise for themselves and constitutional officers that was recommended by the Compensation Review Board. If the Senate also rejects it, the pay hike is killed. If the Senate does nothing, the raises will happen.

Do you think there will be significant political fallout if the pay raises happen? Let’s try to avoid over-the-top attacks on politicians here. Nobody cares about wild ravings on blogs, so try to confine yourselves to the question at hand. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 8:42 am:

    Not much. 23 of 39 State Senators have no opponents in November. I’d suspect maybe a handful of those with competition will be closer than 60-40. And the Senate could pass a similar “other” bill to give political cover to those with an opponent and still get their raise. So not much fallout, unless the media does it in place of the lack of political competition.

  2. - Pat collins - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    Nobody cares about wild ravings on blogs,


    I agree with Jeff - nothing at all happens. Some one somewhere will raise it as an issue, but Senator with a real opponent will get a chance to vote “no”. it’s a null issue

  3. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    If the raises go through, expect it to be a marginal help to Republicans, who can then take the Dems national theme of “we need change” and toss it back at Illinois Dems.

    The Dems need to step up on this one and block these raises. Maybe if we had a strong gov. to put his foot down the raises could be blocked. Too bad Blago lacks the leadership skills.

  4. - (the return of) Lovie's Leather - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 9:00 am:

    Nothing will happen. Not a thing. It will be a small blurb in the newspaper and a big deal for a day with all the bloggers. That is unless somebody makes some stupid comments that we will remember forever. Stranger things have happened….

  5. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 9:02 am:

    I don’t see why they shouldn’t get raises. The budget is balanced, we aren’t raising taxes, and the economy is humming along. Good point about the governor, but if he says we don’t have the money his rosey picture of the state is blurred.

    It is a double edged sword. It is a bad idea politically, on the other hand, people can’t act surprised that the only people running for public office are either unqualified or corrupt when you are going to pay them 45,000 per year.

  6. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 9:06 am:

    I thought Illinois was having problems paying it’s budget? I thought Illinois was behind over a billion in health care bills? I thought Illinois didn’t have money for road infrastructure of schools? I thought Illinois needed Keno to pay help pay it’s way out of the hole the GOP put us in years ago?

    You can’t make these claims and jack up your pay too. Voters might ignor it if this didn’t fit a pattern, but the GOP will pick up this piece and use it to help continue painting a picture that Blagojevich is AWOL regarding his office and it’s duties.

    I cynical enough to think they’ll raise their salaries regardless of the political cost to Mr. Throw em Under the Bus.

  7. - DOWNSTATE - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 9:07 am:

    Blago will approve it in order to make people think the state is in good fiscal shape.

  8. - 4% - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 9:25 am:

    The Republicans should offer an amendment that no legislative or constitutional officer salaries are paid until all state vendors are being paid within a reasonable time period (45 days).

  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 10:22 am:

    Do you know how long it would take me, your average state worker , to accumulate 10% in raises? It’s been four years and I’ve gotten 4% (pre-tax).

    But, the Patriot is correct. The state is in perfect shape and those that made it this way deserve something. At least they are not giving huge raises to those idiots in purchasing at CMS.

    Or are they?

  10. - The Hankster - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 10:40 am:

    Regardless of what feels about elected officials, it seems that one would want pay to be good enough that you can attract qualified candidates but not high enough that you have people run just because its a good pay day.

  11. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 10:40 am:

    No problem at all. We’ll continue to take it just as we always have. And the Senators and Reps know it.

  12. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 10:59 am:

    There should be. As of right now, other than the legislative leaders and the budget negotiators, most legislators won’t work more than 45-50 days. At the current rate that’s more than $1100 per day NOT INCLUDING their per diem expenses. Add on top of that the freebies legislators receive and I would say that such increases are unnecessary. Honestly, it would be different if the job were truly year-round but statements such as “we want to adjourn by April 7th” and “we need to campaign for the rest of the year” give voters a reason to be cynical about 10% pay raises.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 11:42 am:

    What’s the difference between public service and self service? One doesn’t expect ANYTHING in return.

    Politicians used to chase power and fame. Adding the vice of money won’t make our government work better.

    Statesmen reject the vices and serve the public instead of themselves.

  14. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 12:50 pm:

    I suppose they deserve a cost of living increase like state employees got this year.

    But as I understand it, some are proposing that they get several years’ worth of cost of living increases. That seems excessive in the current environment, especially since state legislators for the most part don’t work very hard. From what I can see, they sit around waiting for Madigan et al to tell them how to vote. Hardly
    worth more than one cost of living increase and hardly worth more than state employees got.

  15. Pingback » Blog Archive » Roundup (4/26/06) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 1:13 pm:

    […] Legislative pay raises for the Illinois General Assembly are still alive, and it remains up to Democrat Senate President Emil Jones (and Mike Frerichs’ largest campaign contributor) to kill them. […]

  16. - The original Bill - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 1:19 pm:

    My Rep and Senator work much more than 45-50 days per year. They work 6-7 days a week.When they are not in session they are working in the office during the week helping to provide assistance to constituients and attending community events on weekends. The Rep is a full-time legislator who supports his family on his state salary. The Senator, juggles another job with his legislative duties and still finds time to be well versed on the issues, chair committees, and never make an uninformed vote. They are both truely dedicated public servants. I am sure that if it were up to the people they represent, we would award them much more than 13%.

  17. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 1:52 pm:

    Rep. Bob Flider will do anything this election year to get elected. Increasing senior property tax benefits taking more money away from education.
    Now, he was the leader on the bill to stop the pay increases. By the Flider still working for anybody elese like your old Illinois Power buddies.
    Dick Cain must have you guys worried.

  18. - Papa Legba - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 2:27 pm:

    Did I correctly read that a couple of posters believe the states fiscal condition is just fine? I hope you are just kidding, right? When the front line workers, the workers who WORK about 240 days a year, haven’t seen squat for 4 years, why should the part timers in Springfield, elected and appointed, get anything. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  19. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 4:51 pm:

    I think it is deplorable that Ill. legislators making in excess of $57,000 a year {most (not all) but most with side income or occupation}are even considering this increase & the “compensation review committee” considering it as well in these very troubling times. Let’s get some real work done down there, get the fiscal house in real order, plausible solutions to serious problems & then let’s talk. In the “world” they’d be fired ! I guess we can in November. It took this administration 3 1/2 years to put us at 21 billion in debt & owes the retirement system about 40 billion as well. Yea ! things are great !! Read an article just yesterday about how some in the Ill. Gen Assy. feel it’s justified !!??? a cost of living adjustment. And ! bud.. while they are at it try to figure out how to get a “cost of living” bump for the merit comp employee {not ALL are appointees or Republicans as they’d like you to believe} who haven’t had an adjustment or increase since 2003′ {despite the 4% Bladgo “”graciously”" gave just before X–mas 05′ that amounted to a net change of about 23.00 a week on a check while telling us all is well} these same folks who stayed with it, promoted up,tried to advance in their careers, took the “furlough days” back during Ryan {days with -0- pay}, pay more in insurance & an additional 8 1/2 % toward pensions with 2 weeks notice that the current administration is borrowing from or against & putting in serious jepordy. Try figuring out how to pay the state’s obligations on time. Get the peoples business done & then let’s talk “raises”. This is not to say there aren’t good legislators because there are. Just git-r-done & quit insulting the citizens of Illinois.

  20. - Tom Joad - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 5:27 pm:

    A few corrections; The pay raise resolution cannot be amended without going back to the House;
    The Governor doesn’t sign or veto the Resolution, he has no say in it; Legislators base salary is $59,000 plus, not $45,000.
    This will be more than a one day story if it goes into effect. It is a simple issue that reporters can write about in 20 minutes, do two interviews, and act morally above everyone in the legislature. Then the follow up story with the man in the street. Then the pious editorial. Three days of columns, 60 minutes of work, and a lot of patting themselves on the back. It’s a lot less work than digging into the budget issues.

  21. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 6:20 pm:

    I bet old Flider is concerned !! It’s a dead-end road with Bladgo & the mess his party has created over the last couple of years especially when they’ve got the mansion, house & senate. Yea Bob you better pay attention this go round, Cain might sneek up on you like England did. GOP throws some $$$ at it and it could get interesting !! Cain’s no ball of fire but with a little savy & some $$$ might give bobby a run for the money. Course he’s setting on a pension from IP.

  22. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 10:37 pm:

    Let me get this right. I work every day, take very few sick days (and only if I’m really sick!), have to earn my official time off month by month, pay for my own dinners and vacations, drive myself to work and pay for the gas out of my own pocket, get to be insulted and belittled by our uber boss and his chronies, while getting no cost of living raise for over 3 years, and not even a warm handshake and then I am supposed to smile when a “committee” recommends that the House get a 13% raise?

    Maybe I’m hanging around the wrong people. I need to become acquainted with lobbyists, contractors, movie stars, big business, etc. I need to start making promises I can’t keep and start spending other people’s money. Then maybe I can get a 13% raise and some recognition for the work I do for the residents of Illinois day after day. Because we all know it won’t happen any other way. A pox on all in the House.

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