Illinois continues to face an unprecedented fiscal crisis. As of late, there is no clear solution in sight, and the budget impasse continues in the General Assembly.
The state is suffering from a debt burden of over $100 billion, and despite this crisis, a bill was passed last year to give pay raises to state legislators for the current fiscal year. This pay raise not only includes a salary increase but also increases the per diem and mileage reimbursement rates given to legislators. The state cannot afford to give legislators a raise. It is completely wrong as legislators to give ourselves a pay raise when our state’s finances are in turmoil, and there is still no budget in place.
At the same time, we do not have the ability to refuse this pay raise. The last General Assembly created this automatic pay increase when the aforementioned bill passed last year. House Bill 4225, seeks to rectify this problem. This bill amends the Compensation Review Act, and prohibits any financial adjustments that were previously recommended and determined for compensation. I signed onto this bill in full support. While this bill is currently still in the Rules Committee in the House, you can follow the bill’s status here.
I believe that House Bill 4225 is a step in the right direction. I am ready to work together with my fellow legislators to create a balanced budget for our state, and help fix our finances.