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Illinois lawmakers pass pay raises for themselves, now heads to Governor's desk

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Illinois capitol money

SPRINGFIELD, Il (WSIL) -- Illinois lawmakers have passed a budget bill that gives themselves big pay raises. Under the measure the base salary for a Representative and Senator in Illinois would increase 16 percent, up from $73,345 to $85,000.

The state's highest ranking officials and top agency directors will also see significant raises.

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Treasurer Michael Frerichs will see their salaries boosted from $143,400 to $160,900 annually.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Kwame Raoul and newly elected Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias can expect a raise from $165,400 to $183,300 annually.

The Governor's salary will also increase from $181,670 to $205,700. Current Governor JB Pritzker does not take a salary.

Top state agency directors will also receive substantial pay raises under the bill.

Pritzker began the push for increasing the pay in the General Assembly. He told the Associated Press on Saturday:

“The Legislature is a coequal branch of government. They haven’t had a raise since before the Great Recession and so I can see why there’s an interest in doing that. People are willing to take a discounted salary off of what they might get in the private sector to come to public service, but you really have to be somewhat competitive. People are putting their kids through college or they’re paying their home mortgage or their rent. ...,” Pritzker said. “We just want to be competitive and bring great people and then retain great people in state government.”

Local lawmakers did not vote for the spending measure.

State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro): “Legislators voting to increase their salaries is a complete and utter insult to each and every Illinoisan who is struggling to keep up with rising energy bills and putting food on their table. By voting to increase their salaries by roughly $12,000, the Majority Party has made it clear to the people of our state that their own personal interests are more important than their struggles.”

State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona): “On a partisan roll call, late on a Friday night in the waning hours of the Lame Duck Session, Democrats showed just how out of touch they are with working people and families,” Jacobs said. “How can anyone justify pay raises for politicians at this time of great economic turmoil and inflation? I voted no, and will continue to stand for working people, families, small business owners, and employers of all sizes. If Governor Pritzker signs this bill, he should be ashamed of himself. We need fiscal restraint in this state and a return to sanity. This out-of-touch massive pay raise for politicians is wrong on every level.”

State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis): "It's becoming a pattern, late on a Friday night, when no one is paying attention, supermajority Democrats passed a massive pay increase for Illinois politicians. Inflation is at a 40-year high, energy costs are crippling family budgets, and working people are falling behind. I voted no on raising politician pay. The Democrats that approved this increase have proven time and again they are not in step with the plight of ordinary working people that are trying to feed themselves and their families and meet their most basic needs. I urge Governor Pritzker to exercise his veto authority to curb the excesses of the supermajority. A pay increase for politicians is totally and completely inappropriate."

State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton): "Illinois Democrats just don't get it. People are struggling with decades high inflation. People can't afford Joe Biden, JB Pritzker, and Illinois Democrats' energy bills. People can't afford food and basic necessities. People are working two jobs to make ends meet. And Democrats think they deserve a big fat pay raise. I am insulted for the people I represent that are working hard to feed themselves and their families in this atrocious economy. I voted NO and I would hope that Governor Pritzker would exercise his veto authority to stop this madness from becoming the law of the land."

The measure was included in Senate Bill 1720. It now heads to Gov. Pritzker's desk. He needs to sign it before 12 p.m. CST Monday since it includes raises for constitutional officers.

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