* Subscribers were already informed of this development…
Senate President John Cullerton will support a bill to halt legislative pay raises during the Senate session next week, despite calling the measure “blatantly unconstitutional.” […]
House Speaker Michael Madigan on Tuesday pushed through a bill to block the cost-of-living increases, calling it another effort to meet Rauner “half way” as the budget impasse drags on.
On Wednesday, Cullerton told the Sun-Times Editorial Board that he’ll call the bill next week.
“We’re going to call that next week, and I’m going to support it,” Cullerton said, adding that “it’s blatantly unconstitutional,” but “nobody’s gonna sue.”
If it gets to the floor, it passes.
* Mark Brown writes about the Cullerton statements…
Pardon me if I don’t salute this as a great victory for democracy.
The legislative pay hike, as Madigan observed last week, is a “diversion” from the serious business in which Rauner and the General Assembly need to be engaged of passing a balanced budget.
Eliminating the pay raise itself amounts to less than $250,000 in savings on a budget with a multibillion-dollar hole, although Democrats claimed they had increased the savings to about $500,000 by also getting rid of planned increases in per diem and mileage reimbursements paid to legislators. […]
Just the same, Democrats should have been smart enough to forgo the pay raises on their own without any prompting from Rauner, not because it was the right thing to do, but because they should have anticipated the governor would exploit it to make it more difficult for them to prevail on the important stuff.
I’m particularly surprised that Madigan, normally a master of such diversions, didn’t act sooner.
I’m surprised, too, but Madigan is not ever known for moving fast until he’s ready.
The bigger surprise is that he didn’t make a huge show out of halting the pay hikes when he knew the GA was headed for overtime.