One red light stood against 101 green ones on the tote board in the Illinois House chamber Tuesday, when representatives voted to cancel their own cost-of-living adjustments. State Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood) says not only was the vote a “minuscule” symbol which does not address a multi-billion dollar budget problem, he believes he earns his money.
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“The governor would argue that he's willing to pay top dollar to get the appropriate talent,” said Davis. “I think that I'm a good legislator. My constituents, I believe, feel that I'm a good legislator. So why shouldn't I have the opportunity to be compensated appropriately for the work that I do?” While the Illinois General Assembly is technically a part-time body, Davis says it's his only source of employment, carrying long hours and, sometimes, seven-day work weeks. This is a year in which public paychecks are under scrutiny. One administrator alone – secretary of education Beth Purvis – makes $250,000, which is more than the entire COLA bill – should it become law – will save.