Bill aims to pay Illinois lawmakers only for days they actually work

Lawmakers can currently work one day to qualify for a whole month’s pay. A bill to change that has been stuck in committee since the spring.

Illinois Policy
December 02, 2019 - 5:04 pm

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (ILLINOIS POLICY) -- No work, no pay: That’s the intent of a bill proposed by Illinois state Rep. Mike Murphy, R-Springfield, that would ensure lawmakers are only paid for days they actually work, according to WCIA-TV.

Murphy introduced the bill in January, but it has not seen action in the House Rules Committee since March. He believes now is a good time to take action on it in light of former Chicago state representative Luis Arroyo’s resignation on Nov. 1 after he was charged with bribery.

“We had a representative recently resign the first of the month, so he’s going to be paid for the entire month,” Murphy told WCIA. “He’s going to get medical benefits, you know, insurance for the whole month. One more month will be added to his retirement and it’s just not right.”

Murphy called it “silly” that Illinois legislators can work one day of the month and still receive compensation as if they had worked for the whole month.

Former state Rep. Sarah Jimenez, who’s seat Murphy now holds, got the ball rolling on the issue in her time in the House after noticing she was paid for the entire month in which she took office, even though she began working at the end of it.

Illinois lawmakers are among the highest paid in the nation after they voted to raise their pay $1,628 in the most recent state budget. The 2.4% cost-of-living increase brought the average Illinois lawmaker’s pay to $69,464. The national average for lawmaker pay is $38,434.