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*** UPDATED x1 - Video *** Comptroller Munger to “reassess” lawmaker pay delay

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016

* Legislators haven’t been paid since late March because Comptroller Leslie Munger decided to throw their paychecks into the pile of unpaid bills along with everyone else. It was, she said, a way of showing lawmakers how their inaction on a state budget was impacting social service providers, many of which were struggling to keep their doors open.

Legislators will likely receive their April paychecks next week because the state payments for bills from the end of April will also be going out the door.

Munger’s chief of staff just told me that the office will now look at the just-passed stopgap budget package and “reassess” Munger’s decision. He said they’ll be looking at upcoming payment delays and “who’s going to be waiting when,” with a particular emphasis on social service providers. If they think they’ll be able to catch up, then Munger could release the hold on paychecks.

* This has been a huge topic of discussion for legislators who don’t have outside jobs, independent wealth and/or employed spouses.

Sen. Kimberly Lightford spoke out today on the Senate floor, saying legislators are not vendors, they’re employees of the Senate and House. All other state employees are being paid by court order, of course…


*** UPDATE ***  Video of Sen. Lightford’s remarks

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Norseman - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    Surprise!


  2. - Jerry - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    But employees can be fired. Doesn’t that make them different than politicians who we vote for?


  3. - Madco - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    Lightford: “as legislators we should get paid for the work that we do,” it’s “wrong for our income to be held for months.”

    She should tell that to the employees of the state vendors who are being laid off. Or the businesses who have had to close their doors due to not being paid by the state. She gets ZERO sympathy from me.


  4. - anon - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    @Jerry Pretty sure most legislators will be having performance reviews in November.


  5. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    Of course you should get paid you are legislators you are special. Haven’t done any real work in a year and I bet not one of you actually knows what is in the budget your fearless leaders just handed you. But you earned your money so congratulations. Now maybe the people who actually provided serves to the state without being paid can actually get paid. Fine job


  6. - retired - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    well. perhaps he would like to be one of the thousands of employees still owed back pay.. still waiting..


  7. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    ==- Jerry - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:14 pm:==

    You can fire them everyone election Jerry!


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    ===Munger’s chief of staff just told me that the office will now look at the just-passed stopgap budget package and “reassess” Munger’s decision.===

    Hmm.

    “Twenty-nine… is not Thirty, Eddie… ”

    You mess with people’s pay as an arbitrary aloof remark as “reasses”, you sound ridiculously smug.

    If the Comptroller’s Office prefers each legislator come and visit, hat in hand and then, behind the desk, arbitrarily decide the paying… Hmm.

    “Reassess”…. Hmm.

    Dunno if I’d choose… that… word.


  9. - The Muse - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    I actually agree with Lightford on something.

    Personally, it’s just bad precedent & government for the Executive Branch to get its way by having a real threat to hang over the Legislature’s head. Didn’t agree with it when Gov. Quinn tried it, and the same holds true for Gov. Rauner.


  10. - The Muse - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    @OW: Bingo!! It comes off as political extortion.


  11. - Just Me - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    Of course it is Lightford arguing that she should get her money!

    Legislators should understand that they haven’t fixed anything, they’ve just bad is less bad. They should continue to wait for their money just like the people who are impacted by their inability to do their job.


  12. - Owed - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    What about the back pay owed to some state employees?


  13. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    I cringed when she said we are not vendors, we are employees and we should be paid. I’m sure the vendors who haven’t been getting paid loved that line.


  14. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:28 pm:

    More spending without commensurate revenue should mean that if she took an honest look at it, legislative pay would be more delayed, not less delayed.


  15. - DuPage - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:31 pm:

    Did Ms. Munger pay back the skipped month of payment to the pension systems. She promised she would catch up by 6/30/16. (Today).


  16. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    Wigman &Co will need to get story straight because BigBraid aide d’camps were telling GA members checks will be mailed this week…..Hmmm political coordination?


  17. - BIG R. Ph. - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    I have a feeling that quote will be heard over and over and over on Chicago TV in October as we head towards the election!


  18. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    DuPage, that was paid a few months now.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:35 pm:

    ===were telling GA members checks will be mailed this week…..===

    Good Cop - Bad Cop

    Munger - “Yeah, I’ll reasses. Maybe you get paid… Maybe you won’t. I’ll look into it”

    (Leaves Room. Rauner enters)

    Rauner - “You did good today, don’t listen to her, you’ll get paid. Just remember I fixed it”

    Ugh.

    “Reassess”… Yikes.


  20. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:51 pm:

    This is an excellent time for legislators to put a cork in it.


  21. - Keepin' Track - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:54 pm:

    If legislators were paid for the “work” that they do, they’d owe us money.


  22. - CCP Hostage - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 4:54 pm:

    This is just another symptom of the mess that is Illinois. “Reassess” whether legislators get paid…Contract for services, demand they be rendered to the letter of the contract, then don’t pay…It all boggles the mind.


  23. - Mattman - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 5:00 pm:

    Even with today’s developments, nothing has been done. No work has been completed. Ms. Lightford should be ashamed.


  24. - LL Cool Ray - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 5:00 pm:

    Don’t like it? Then consider a Kimberexit.


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 5:13 pm:

    –Did Ms. Munger pay back the skipped month of payment to the pension systems. –

    Great question. Where did the state finish the fiscal year on pension contributions.

    What’s the ballpark on the growth in backlog of bills for the fiscal year?


  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 5:20 pm:

    Tone deaf. Legislators are not employees - they are elected officials and can stand in line just like everybody else. Perhaps she can tour her social service agencies, pat herself on the back, and explain why she should get paid while they are not.


  27. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 5:39 pm:

    Senator Lightford needs to learn to use her inside voice and keep it inside her head. I have a feeling this will come back to haunt her .


  28. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 5:51 pm:

    Politically, that “reassess” thought sure sounds like a Quid Pro Quo.


  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 6:40 pm:

    I would hope a legislator would have good enough credit to take out a loan if they are the sole breadwinner. They will be paid, it’s just delayed.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 6:43 pm:

    ===Politically, that “reassess” thought sure sounds like a Quid Pro Quo.===

    - RNUG -… +1

    Yikes, the word choice


  31. - TOTM - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 7:14 pm:

    Ms. Lightford is merely channeling the ghost the late, great Hollywood Ricky Hendon, “I want my money…”

    The Senator should hop back into her exclusive issue luxury car, drive back to her district and apologize for her myopic comment and her (and her colleagues’) overall 18 months of ineffectiveness and lack of effort in the budget process.


  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 7:23 pm:

    I’m so sick of the fact that nearly everybody on here is missing the point. It’s not about personal law maker checks. It is dangerous precedent to allow one branch to threaten and coerce another branch until it does what they want. That principle is a pillar of the separation of powers element of our system of governance. Period. Dangerous dangerous precedent. Legislators do not work for the Governor. God help you if you do not understand that all this does is make it so that you must be independently wealthy in order to serve in the legislature. That is not a representative democracy. It’s just wrong.


  33. - TOTM - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 7:27 pm:

    Anon 7:23 - Point more important is that there is a time and place for such. The pay of a series of inept lawmakers takes a back seat to the multitudes taken hostage by their lack of effort. The complaint is valid; the forum in which it was made is embarrassing.


  34. - Sideline watcher - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 7:30 pm:

    Sorry…that was me. Legislators who were fighting the hardest against the turn around agenda were the ones that were punished for doing so. That’s how rich people fight.they held those legislators families hostage just like everyone else who was seriously and significantly hurt by this ridiculous impasse.


  35. - Sideline watcher - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 7:31 pm:

    Tomt…agreed.


  36. - northernwatersports - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 9:18 pm:

    Oh, please.
    Really?
    Senator, have you not read a newspaper in the last year and half…
    Your merit rating of accomplishment within your job classification has been a huge ZERO.
    And you demand payment before everyone else?
    WOW!


  37. - A guy - Friday, Jul 1, 16 @ 8:54 am:

    ===The Senator should hop back into her exclusive issue luxury car, drive back to her district and apologize for her myopic comment and her (and her colleagues’) overall 18 months of ineffectiveness and lack of effort in the budget process.===

    No one in her district is expecting an apology. No one will get one. She doesn’t have an “inner voice”. If it makes it to her mind, it makes it to her mouth.


  38. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 1, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    ===The Senator should hop back into her exclusive issue luxury car, drive back to her district and apologize for her myopic comment and her (and her colleagues’) overall 18 months of ineffectiveness and lack of effort in the budget process.===

    Gee, I thought the hold-up had been the governor’s pre-conditions for a budget. He’d been pretty clear about that.

    Let the revisionists begin.

    – She doesn’t have an “inner voice”. If it makes it to her mind, it makes it to her mouth.–

    Maybe you could lend her a couple of your inner voices. Might clear up the confusion in your posts.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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