Lawmakers pass on pay hike, but. . .

Lawmakers pass on pay hike, but. . .

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

There’s some good news from Springfield for a change. The Illinois Senate recently said no to a proposed $12 million hike in pay for state officials, including a cost-of-living adjustment passed in 1990.

The Senate voted to bar the 3.8 percent COLA set to take effect July 1 for state officials whose pay is determined by the Compensation Review Board. The adjustment is furnished annually for legislators, judges, constitutional officers and other top state officials. Savings by this move are estimated at $5.6 million.

“State revenues are lagging as a result of the events of September 11 and the ensuing economic slowdown. Many state and private sector employees are facing the loss of their jobs. It would be extremely irresponsible for state lawmakers and other government officials to accept a pay raise, even one set by law more than a decade ago,” said Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford.

The Senate’s joint resolution, however, does okay a pay raise for associate judges and pension improvements for all judges. The recommendations of the Compensation Review Board will take effect unless both Senate and House vote against them.

Well, this good news is balanced out by bad, since the word our state legislature is considering raising taxes to cover all the free spending under Gov. Lyin’ Ryan’s (I will not raise taxes) Build Illinois program.

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