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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        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    The only thing of “significant” interest for me is the McSweeney-Madigan Bill.

    McSweeney. Huh. Could be nothin’, could be… “nothin’”

  2. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:00 pm:


    Seriously. The juveniles in the General Assembly never cease to amaze me. Do the members of the General Assembly not realize that they are acting like a bunch of children? It’s gets more pathetic every day. Maybe we should send them all a bunch of pacifiers since that is about the intellectual level they are operating on.

  3. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    Keeping the stale in stalemate!

  4. - pundent - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    Sandack and Trover want to make this an issue. Madigan simply yawns and takes another argument away.

  5. - D - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    Wonder how the Speaker and his Caucus will respond to Gov. Rauner halting payment of video gambling profits

  6. - zonz - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    I WAS wondering why MJM was taking so long to yank out this thorn.

  7. - Slide - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    Good politics. Bad for the economy.

  8. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    @Demoralized - well said. Springfield is a pre-K at this point, with Gov Rauner and Speaker Madigan as the administrators running the place.

  9. - DuPage Don - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Seems as though Mary Ann Ahern was on to something a week or so back.

  10. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    ++Madigan said, “We did not appropriate for the pay raise or the COLA adjustment”++ Since the Dems did not appropriate funds for the legislatures’ COLA, they are siding with the DEMS, not Rauner. Right?

  11. - Because I said so... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:09 pm:

    Who was the one vote against?

  12. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    ==I WAS wondering why MJM was taking so long to yank out this thorn==

    Many were. The Speaker should have been aware of this vulnerability and addressed it weeks ago.

    Even though he lost this round, some will still try to spin it as a ==win==. He is not infallible.

  13. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:11 pm:

    “This bill is just another effort to meet the Governor halfway.”

    Translation: “I got your compromise right *here* Governor!”


  14. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Of course. He hinted last week he would do this.
    If Madigan wanted to make an in-house statement he would ask for a Republican Co-Chief Sponsor.

  15. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:13 pm:


    When is Bruce going to submit his Constitutionally Mandated Balanced Budget? Or are we still working with back of the napkin “dreck” that spend 3 Billion more than we take in?

    I’ll hang up and listen for my answer!


  16. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:14 pm:

    Madigan’s bill should also freeze gov staff pay at last year’s level. See where that goes. (I know it’s not that easy, but still…)

  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:15 pm:

    The Owl can hoot his victory, but now that 177 members of the General Assembly are now in line to not get their COLA, “now what?”

    Now. What? Now what?

    Rauner is governing like Quinn, “politicking” under the playbook Blago dreamed, but now, now, The Owl stopped the COLA.

    Wait, this was the “easy” lift. Now it’s disposed. Now what?

  18. - Concerned citizen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    While the vast majority are paying no attention to Springfield, this skirmish is won on points by Rauner. Madigan could have done this earlier, the delay makes it appear Rauner forced him to do so.

  19. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    Now, shouldn’t the Republicans refuse any checks from Governor Rauner’s Rewards Fund while the stalemate goes on?

  20. - Jordan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    What’s up with Sandack’s tweets lately? He tweeted this earlier:

    “Another day-trip to Springfield courtesy of the Speaker. Don’t expect votes on a balanced budget, term limits or fair maps. #WastedTime”.

    Hey Rep. Sandack, you squandered the chance to vote for a property tax freeze 11 different times! What more do you want?

  21. - thunderspirit - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    == ==I WAS wondering why MJM was taking so long to yank out this thorn== ==

    == Many were. The Speaker should have been aware of this vulnerability and addressed it weeks ago.

    Even though he lost this round, some will still try to spin it as a ==win==. He is not infallible. ==
    There’s just no way this is a “win” for Speaker Madigan. It’s a pretty significant mistake from a political veteran who is usually far more savvy than that. Whether it’s an isolated misstep (I suspect so) or a harbinger of something more significant regarding his political acumen (the beginning of the end some have predicted for him) remains to be seen.

  22. - Union Man - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    $1,563 times 177 reps = $276,651. Now the Gov can hire Another SuperStar!

  23. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    Well just like that Madigan takes away one of the administrations talking points, which was nothing more than a distraction from the unresolved big issues anyway.
    Let me know when the Rauner administration has one significant accomplishment to it’s credit in improving the condition of our state. Six months have been wasted. Illinois is in dire need of statesmanship and leadership but we have none to be found from the Governor.

  24. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==- Jordan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:21 pm:==

    A piece of candy?

  25. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    I’m not buying this as a Madigan mistake. He left it hanging out there, the governor bit, and now, the House has passed one of the Gov’s top asks. (Which was not even on his list a couple of months ago.)

  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    ===I’m not buying this as a Madigan mistake===

    You gotta be kidding me.



  27. - cdog - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:36 pm:

    McSweeney says , “let’s finish doing our job and pass a permanent budget without raising taxes.”

    Still waiting on the balanced budget from the Governor. AND, let’s not forget the math lesson from last week, July 22, when Mr. Cullerton passed out the FY16 Budget Outlook.

    $23.5B required spending, k-12 spending
    8.0B Medicaid with little room to cut
    7.0B Higher Ed, Human Services

    To balance, at current revenue, a 71% cut from Higher Ed and Human Services.

    These Rauner Cuts are going to be catastrophic for academia and the disadvantaged.

  28. - DE - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    I don’t like talking or asking questions in generalities or stereotypes (and I don’t know either man), but I wonder the % the $1,563 COLA is to the net worth/income of McSweeny vs. Davis. $1,563 is a small Xmas decoration budget for homes in Barrington Hills, and the charitable donation is deductible.

  29. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===I’m not buying this as a Madigan mistake===

    Then you’ll definitely not buy that this was an extremely rare execution of damage control by an office that doesn’t require this skill very often. Maybe outsourced to get a solution. Nobody in-house is wired to think this way.

  30. - cdog - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    This arrow missed Madigan.
    The arrow that has hit Rauner, the one with Rauner Cuts written on it (71% cut to Human Service and Higher Ed due to no place left to give in budget), has hit the mark.

  31. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    Yes, this was Madigan’s gaffe. This should have been done earlier and placed on a bill that created problems for Rauner (hat tip to RNUG for the suggestion yesterday).

  32. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    A guy: –outsourced to get a solution–

    C’mon. That’s stretching it. This wasn’t that hard to see. Maybe missed it as not as significant as it obviously is, but then easily fixed.

  33. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:57 pm:

    I think Madigan waited until today to do this on purpose. Senate won’t be in session until after paychecks including COLA go out. Once that happens, you can’t change the legislators pay during a term. He knew this. However, introducing and passing the bill makes him look reasonable. He played the Governor.

  34. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:11 pm:

    Well, Mr. Speaker has company now. Mr. Gidwitz had to pull a U-ey of his own in re: Mark Kirk. Is it the heat or what?

  35. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:19 pm:

    Very interesting AA. Are we going to see a little dust up among the millionaires or do we see Gidwitz doing the dirty work so Rauner doesn’t look like he’s betraying an ally?

  36. - Macoupin Minority - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:50 pm:

    MJM didn’t play the Guv, he is playing the good people of Illinois just as he has for years, and to previous comment MJM has the job description that says craft a balanced budget not the Guv. You guys have been bamboozled so long by MJM reality is blurred. Really stung to lose the Guv’s race huh!

  37. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:13 pm:

    Thoughts matter presents an interesting idea that his was a calculated maneuver by Mr. Madigan.

    Considering a related post concerning Mr. Cullerton, I think this reinforces the idea.

  38. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:26 pm:

    AA, looks like Gidwitz is backtracking. Evidently Gidwitz got the message.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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