Gov. Bruce Rauner’s explanation for one new hire in his administration making a six-figure salary doesn’t add up. The salary in question is the $100,000 that will be paid to Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, the new chief of staff for First Lady Diana Rauner. The governor didn’t directly address that salary when asked whether it was too high for the position.
“We are going to try to offer salaries that are competitive (to) get the talent in,” Rauner said. “This is all about driving a transformation of the government, and many people are coming in at salaries well below what they made in the private sector.”
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But Jimenez isn’t coming from the private sector. She spent the last year as the director of intergovernmental affairs in the comptroller’s office. She’s also not settling for a lower salary in her new job, as she was making $91,000 per year, according to data made available on the comptroller office’s website.
Rauner has criticized state workers for supposedly having higher average salaries than the state’s average pay in the private sector. He cited research from the Pew Center for the States which claims the average government worker in Illinois makes $11,000 more per year compared to the average private-sector employee.