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Comptroller: Legislators will get raises

Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015

* Finke

Rauner on Tuesday again complained that lawmakers are in line for a pay raise while the budget impasse continues. Lawmakers are entitled to an automatic cost of living adjustment, although they have voted to reject it in recent years.

The raise this year is 2 percent, which will increase their annual pay by $1,300 at least. Lawmakers make a base salary of $67,836, although most earn more because they hold top committee or leadership posts.

“If they are going to take a $1,300 pay hike for themselves, they should start earning that pay,” Rauner said. […]

“The governor is attempting to divert attention away from solutions to the problem of the budget,” Madigan said, noting that the budget sent to the governor did not include money for the raises.

* AP

Madigan says the spending plan approved by the General Assembly that Rauner vetoed in June did not appropriate money for the raises.

He said he couldn’t answer whether the raises will take effect even though there was no action to nix them.

OK, well this shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.

I checked with the comptroller’s office this morning and was told that Comptroller Munger “regrettably” will be including the raises in upcoming legislative paychecks because of the law passed last year that makes legislative salaries a continuing appropriation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments
  1. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    Would it be fair to say that Bruce Rauner vetoed the legislation that would have nixed these pay raises?


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    Bruce Rauner channeling his best Pat Quinn.

    “Legislator pay! Legislator pay!”

    Get to work, Governor.


  3. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    Should read:

    If they are going to take a $1,300 pay hike for themselves, they should start earning that pay,” Rauner said noting that he’s not drawing a salary, thus entitling him to duck all responsibilities and leadership during this time of crisis. Crying “Fire Madigan” Rauner then ducked into his office for what promises to be another banner day of crafting pithy emails with staff.


  4. - Just saying... - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    Just curious…if the Governor was to have the courage to use the power of his office and start line item veto’s on the budget that was sent to him…could he veto the raises?


  5. - sickntired - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    this state is embarrassing


  6. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    @How Ironic- Well done sir.


  7. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    I think that means the GOP ILGA members will get a raise as well, right? So whom exactly is the governor attacking today?

    So..the ILGOP is earning their twice a year stipend from the governor but not their pay from the good people of Illinois? Whom are they really working for then? The picture is getting a little more clear.


  8. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:21 am:

    Poor tactical move by the Dems. They should have included raise rejection in one of their budget implementation bills. Now Rauner and his caucus will have a mini-bat (I don’t think it ranks up there as a club) to hit them with.


  9. - Just askin' - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Can we expect someone to introduce a bill to get rid of the automatic legislative raises? How about actually doing something about it rather than using it as a talking point?


  10. - Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    As a fellow Lake County resident, I have always found Leslie Munger to be a straight arrow. Her honesty and integrity shines through here.

    How legislators get paid and how they are getting their pay increases is something I am sure the Speaker of the House was well aware of. I would be astonished to learn that he was caught by surprise here, based on his reputation for details and minutia.


  11. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    Just askin; https://patch.com/illinois/bolingbrook/representative-sandack-tries-halt-automatic-legislator-pay-raises-during-budget-crisis


  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    Cullerton, Madigan and Quinn locked in those pay raises last year by making legislator salaries a continuing appropriation? Nice work, guys.


  13. - Midstate Indy - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    ILGOP votes against property tax freeze, accepts pay hike. Insert any targeted district budget cut issue & send the mailers.

    To the substance at hand, this seems fairly straight forward on terms of process. Politically its a bad deal for the ILGA, not just a particular party. Who can most effectively make the other side wear this scarlet letter will be the real culmination of this issue.


  14. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    If the legislators are reporting here as required, holding office hours, meeting with constituents- then they ARE earning their paychecks. They are Not required to vote Bruce’s way on legislation to earn their paychecks. Furthermore, they are not part time just because the session doesn’t meet daily. Thus summer us a perfect example of that. Ii say all this even though I don’t care for my rep or senator at the present moment.

    Yes, we need a budget. But maybe Gov. Rauner and his staff could come in from the schoolyard, stop calling legislators names, stop writing nasty letters, and earn their own paychecks?


  15. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    The gidwitz munger will have a primary.


  16. - Blago's Luxurious Grey Mane - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    When you can get elected Ward Committeeman, William, give us a call. Maybe Dick Morris can “help” again.


  17. - Foggy Nelson - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    Sooo… let me see if I understand this. These guys are all part of the machine that fought the mandated state employees raises 2 years ago? My head spins at the hypocrisy of it all….


  18. - Challengerrt - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    That really takes a lot of nerve for the legislators and their leaders considering they don’t have the nerve to do their jobs. Must be nice getting paid for not doing your job and on top of it getting a pay raise for not doing your job. I’m in the wrong profession! They never have the nerve to do whats right but plenty to do what is wrong.


  19. - doh - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    ==I checked with the comptroller’s office this morning and was told that Comptroller Munger “regrettably” will be including the raises in upcoming legislative paychecks because of the law passed last year that makes legislative salaries a continuing appropriation.==

    I don’t think the Comptroller is telling the full story. That law has nothing to do with the raises. The General Assembly did not appropriate raises last year or this year. Since there is no budget in place right now, she’s paying them because of the continuing appropriation. The continuing appropriation doesn’t include the raises. It only covers the amount of money appropriated last year. Read the language:

    “Beginning July 1, 2014, the aggregate appropriations available for salaries for members of the General Assembly and judges from all State funds for each State fiscal year shall be no less than the total aggregate appropriations made available for salaries for members of the General Assembly and judges for the immediately preceding fiscal year.”


  20. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    — Just askin’ - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Can we expect someone to introduce a bill to get rid of the automatic legislative raises? How about actually doing something about it rather than using it as a talking point? —

    Technically, they can’t pass a bill to reduce their pay. The Constitution prohibits changing legislator pay during their term in office. Hence, why Quinn couldn’t veto their pay last year. The pay increase wasn’t voted on by the General Assembly, but is the result of an obscure law.


  21. - Juice - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Was just about to post what doh just posted. Look at the language, and the continuing approp simply does not cover raises. The Comptroller could just as easily say that she is not going to pay since the money was not appropriated. If a member wants to sue, let them.
    But instead she is much more interested in making the GA look bad and playing in the Governor’s political game.

    Granted this does not change the fact that the GA giving themselves a continuing approp is ridiculous. Or the fact that they should have included a freeze on their COLA like they have every year for the past six or so. But if the Comptroller wanted to freeze their increase, the continuing approp language is not what is standing in her way.


  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===Or the fact that they should have included a freeze on their COLA like they have every year for the past six or so.===

    The court has already ruled that COLAs are part of constitutionally protected salaries.


  23. - UgetwhatUpay4 - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    “If they are going to take a $1,300 pay hike for themselves, they should start earning that pay,” Rauner said. […]

    Since the Gov. is getting $0, that explains a lot.


  24. - Elo Kiddies - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    Any legislators rejecting the increase? The governor is being paid, I thought I read, but he’s giving it back. Legislators could do the same thing, right?


  25. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    doh at 12:38 and Juice at 12:45 — The amount appropriated under the continuing appropriation is more than enough to pay the salaries, COLAs and even some new leadership pay for 90% of the year, which means the Comptroller has to pay the amounts due now in full. She doesn’t hold back a reserve to make sure there is enough to pay for the whole year. In any event, as the courts have held, she has to pay legislative and judicial salaries, as mandated by the constitution, even without an appropriation.


  26. - Kris - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    Thousands of state employees are still owed back pay from 2011 where there contract raise and step increases were nixed because of lack of funds. Typical Illinois Politics!!!!


  27. - fedup - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    I don’t have a problem with this - costs increase - how about the merit comp that have not had any raises in 12 years


  28. - Juice - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    Rich, I think you’re mixing up the furloughs days, which reduced GA pay, and the COLA. Cohen never said the COLA was protected, and in fact, the bill that gave the GA a continuing approp also froze the GA’s FY 15 COLA, months after that decision came down.


  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    ===Cohen never said the COLA was protected===

    I didn’t say that.

    I was referring to the Supreme Court ruling on judicial pay.

    Basically, same dif.


  30. - Anonymous Redux - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    The COLA raise won’t buy one pair of our Governors “Sunday Go to meetin” shoes?

    When will The Big Picture come into focus Publicly?

    You may say , “The Citizens of Illinois are not paying attention”.

    You may say, ” The Citizens of Illinois are politically ignorant and/or gullible”.

    I would answer by stating, “Once aware and awakened, the duped are often the most disappointed”.

    The Citizens of Illinois (especially those who may be ignorant for a variety of reasons! )expect and deserve better government now.

    We need actual representation to coincide with taxation!

    Get the job done or admit the water is too deep?

    Goin’ the wrong way on a one way street won’t ever get the deal done.

    Now, how about prioritizing a fair budget?


  31. - Juice - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 3:56 pm:

    Look Rich, now you have me distracted by the distraction. But I’ll take the bait anyways.

    In Jorgensen, the court went to great lengths to make it a separation of powers issue. They found that since the court has no role in the budgetary process, they had to intervene in the interest of protecting their branch over what they deemed to be an attack by one branch (the executive) with the possibility that the other could join in.

    But on the COLA, if the GA themselves chose to reject it, I find it hard to believe that a judge would order them to take the raise. Simply, not quite the same diff.


  32. - Proud Union Employee - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    @How Ironic
    the governor is taking a salary of over $19,000 a month. It’s public record!


  33. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    === But on the COLA, if the GA themselves chose to reject it, I find it hard to believe that a judge would order them to take the raise. Simply, not quite the same diff. ===

    I would argue that they can reject it prior to it taking effect. Taking effect being the date specified and when the legislators’ terms have started. Once it does take effect, then they can’t reject it.


  34. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 7:27 pm:

    As a merit comp employee, can I sign up for the COLA formula that the GA members have?

    Just askin’…. it’s been all M and no C for us MC people.


  35. - transplant - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 8:40 pm:

    I’d like to see a breakdown of how much each “present” or “not voting” cast in the GA has cost taxpayers this year. If you’re going to take a paycheck to make decisions, then make decisions.


  36. - lost in the weeds - Wednesday, Jul 22, 15 @ 9:49 pm:

    ====The court has already ruled that COLAs are part of constitutionally protected salaries.====

    Arguing over COLAs that are constitutionally protected.
    Court cases over timely payment of salaries to people that are working.

    Operating government without appropriations required by the Constitution.

    Dysfunctional republic heading toward banana republic.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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