Illinois House approves 15 percent salary increase for agency di - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois House approves 15 percent salary increase for agency directors

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WSIL -- The Illinois House approved a proposal on Tuesday that would increase the salaries of state agency directors by 15 percent at an estimated cost of nearly $700,000. 

Rep. Christian Mitchell, (D-Chicago) is the sponsor of SB 3531 in the House. He says that amount has already been appropriated for in the state budget. 

"This would allow us to be competitive with other states and allow us to attract the talent we need to turn the state around," Mitchell said. 

There are 27 state agencies in Illinois and this bill would allow 49 employees to receive that increase. People like directors, assistant directors, and secretaries would see a bump in their paycheck. 

Opponents like Rep. Allen Skillicorn, (R-East Dundee) and Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) don't think this increase is a good idea. 

"We are raising the salary of the department heads, but it sounds like the people below that aren't getting the same consideration," Skillicorn said. 

"You don't need directors getting paid more, you need this legislative body passing legislation that makes a difference," Ives said. 

During a press conference Tuesday, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner admitted he's been saying since day one, director's salaries needed to be increased. 

"I do believe that we underpay directors for the role they do," Rauner said. "I believe that's true."

Democratic Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker says Illinois salaries for agency directors and assistants aren't competitive and he says he fully supports this measure.

Southern Illinois Representatives, Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) and outgoing Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie (D-Elizabethtown) both voted yes. Rep. Dave Severin, (R-Benton) and Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) voted no. 

The Senate has until noon on Wednesday to vote on the bill or the legislation dies. Click here to see how the rest of the House members voted on this bill.

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