Munger to lawmakers: no budget, no paycheck

Illinois’ comptroller said Wednesday that if lawmakers don’t pass a budget, they shouldn’t get a paycheck.

Comptroller Leslie Munger said earlier this year that she would put lawmakers’ pay at the back of the line of unpaid bills.

The rhetoric heated up recently when State Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Dist. 19, said delaying lawmakers’ pay is extortion.

Munger said that shows just how out of touch some in the Assembly are. “What’s extortion is expecting businesses and organizations to provide services to people in our state for a whole year and not paying them.”

With signs that said “No Budget, No Pay” at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday for Governor’s Day, Munger pushed for legislation to hold lawmaker pay altogether if they don’t pass a balanced budget as required by the state Constitution.

“People and organizations all around the state are closing their doors, losing their jobs, shuttering services, and it’s really not fair,” Munger said.

Munger said the recently passed stopgap budget isn’t a balanced budget and won’t pay down the state’s backlogged bills totaling nearly $8 billion.

State Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Dist. 65, agreed with Munger’s idea and disagreed with the notion that it’s extortion.

“She’s not telling anyone how to do it,” Andersson said. “She’s not saying don’t raise taxes or do raise taxes. She’s just saying you’ve got to pass the budget. I think that’s perfectly appropriate. It forces us to do our job, which is something we’ve been woefully inadequate on,” Anderssen said.

Without the legislation, Munger said lawmakers’ paychecks for the month of May will be paid sometime in early September because of the billions of dollars in backlogged bills.

–Illinois News Network

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