The Speaker of the Illinois House says Tuesday's vote to roll back lawmakers' cost-of-living increases represents progress toward meeting the governor halfway.
Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) also said his bill, which awaits a possible Senate vote next week, tops a Republican-introduced measure because it not only rescinds a two percent COLA, but it also freezes per diem ($111) and mileage (39 cents) reimbursements for lawmakers.
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Madigan's news conference followed another House session in which representatives heard about the impact of the lack of a budget on social services. Madigan reiterated his pledge to work professionally with Gov. Bruce Rauner and to work “in moderation” and not “in the extreme.”
Since it sounds so much like a certain February 2-themed movie, reporters decided it was up to them to try to divine a compromise. How about, say, carving out exemptions to prevailing wage laws?
“This is where the governor talks in terms where he wants to reduce income for local governments and at the same time – he would say -- reduce their costs,” Madigan responded. “I don't think the government should be in the business of lowering wages and the standard of living for anybody.”
Madigan also fielded a question about constitutional concerns about the COLA bill.
“As we know from following courts, sometimes they change their minds.”