The “cut lawmaker pay” bandwagon has roared out of the House and into the Senate.
Illinois House members voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to rescind a two percent cost of living increase.
“I did a little bit of math,” cracked State Rep. Rob Martwick (D-Norridge), “and, for 177 legislators, it would save us $238,950. Problem solved!”
For most lawmakers, it's a matter of optics. Lawmakers in Illinois earn a starting salary of almost $68,000 for what's technically a part-time job. State Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) said that's more than the average household income in his district.
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“We are at an impasse,” said House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), calling the budget non-negotiations “an historic struggle,” as Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted upon elements of his “Turnaround Agenda” passing before he is willing to discuss a balanced budget. Madigan called the bill “another attempt to meet the governor halfway.”
State Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood) cast the only No vote, noting this is a full time job for him and not simply side income.
The bill goes to the Senate, which meets next Tuesday.