* This idea was promoted by some Republican legislators last year, but is now being taken up by the majority Democrats. From a press release…
Legislators who resign their seats in the General Assembly before the end of their term no longer would be paid for days they haven’t worked under a proposal by Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza.
Mendoza’s plan was prompted by recent cases involving State Sen. Martin Sandoval and State Rep. Luis Arroyo – each of whom are under federal investigation – who resigned their seats on the first day of the month but still received paychecks for the entire month. The practice is currently allowed under state law.
“It’s Jan. 13 – nearly two weeks since Marty Sandoval resigned his seat under federal investigation. Despite resigning on the first day of this month, my office must still pay him for the entire month. That’s ridiculous,” Mendoza said. “I can think of no other enterprise that pays an ex-employee for work they never performed. Each of these lawmakers left under a cloud but stayed just long enough – the first of the month – to collect an ‘exit bonus’ from state taxpayers for a month’s pay for no work.”
Under the proposal, lawmakers who resign before completing their entire term in office would be compensated on a prorated basis – meaning they would be paid based on the number of days they work in the Legislature. The same rule would apply to lawmakers appointed to complete the term of a vacancy.
In addition, legislators would be paid twice a month, just like all other state employees and constitutional officers. Currently, legislators are paid once a month. The Illinois Office of Comptroller issues paychecks to lawmakers, state employees and constitutional officers.
In some cases, taxpayers have been on the hook for two lawmaker salaries for the same position. Not only did the outgoing lawmaker get a check for a full month’s salary, their replacement did as well – even if the replacement began at the end of the month.
The proposal, Senate Bill 2456, is sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).
“In any other job, a person would not be compensated for an entire month if they only worked one day,” Castro said. “This is a glaring loophole that has been exploited far too many times at the taxpayers’ expense, and I look forward to working with Comptroller Mendoza to close it once and for all.”
Sometimes, the full-month’s pay can be used to help ease someone out of office, but I do get the point. Your thoughts?
* Speaking of which, from the Office of Executive Inspector General…
A recently released OEIG report about Governors State University (GSU) details a course of mismanagement that resulted in payments totaling over $1.5 million to 33 at-will employees after they had been terminated without cause.
The OEIG investigation uncovered that GSU had a long-standing practice of paying at-will employees after they were terminated. The amount of payment was based on the employees’ start date and length of service without any regard to the individual circumstances surrounding the termination. These employees continued to be paid by GSU without completing any work for GSU (or only minimal work) even when they obtained other non-State employment. Furthermore, many of these employees were instructed to continue to submit timesheets after they left GSU, thus falsely indicating that they were working a full-time schedule for GSU.
GSU did not have any policies regarding how these types of terminations and payments should be handled or evaluated, or by whom. GSU also did not provide any clear direction to administrators about instructions to be given to terminated employees on future employment or the submission of timesheets. The OEIG concluded that, as the head of the university, GSU President Elaine Maimon provided little or no guidance on these issues, nor did she effectively delegate her management role to other individuals.
In response to the report, the GSU Board of Trustees stated that it was preparing new timekeeping and termination pay policies to address the issues raised in the OEIG report. The Board also stated that it was forming an executive search committee to begin the process of selecting the next GSU President by June 2020, due to the upcoming expiration of President Maimon’s contract.
The full report is here.