In response to the recent court ruling authorizing the prioritization of state legislators’ pay over other outstanding obligations, State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) immediately filed an amendment to Senate Bill 0989 that would allow greater discretion when issuing salary payments for members of the General Assembly. McConchie said this would allow Illinois’ other fiscal obligations to be prioritized over legislators’ and Executive Branch officers’ pay.
“There is no reason why the court should force legislator pay to be prioritized over the hundreds of vendors, providers and agencies who have been waiting months for reimbursement from the state,” said Sen. McConchie. “This bill seeks to right that wrong and allows the state’s interests and well-being to be placed ahead of legislators.”
Last spring, former Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger opted to place legislators’ paychecks in line with the other overdue bills, as the state struggled to meet its obligations due to the ongoing budget impasse. In December, a lawsuit was filed by six legislators, arguing for their legislative pay to be prioritized ahead of hospitals, human services organizations and universities that are also waiting for payments from the state.
Today, the Cook County Circuit Court ruled in favor of the six legislators, citing Illinois law, which provides a continuing appropriation for legislative salaries. In response, Sen. McConchie’s bill amendment seeks to specifically authorize the Comptroller to delay salary payments to legislators and Executive Branch Constitutional Officers.
Under this proposed legislation, the monthly salary payment to legislators may be delayed if there are insufficient funds in the state’s General Revenue Fund to pay all other obligations within 90 days after a voucher requesting payment is submitted to the Comptroller.
“This is a common sense proposal. Legislators who are failing to pass a balanced budget should not have their pay be put in front of the line over that state’s most vulnerable,” said McConchie.
Click here for video sound bites from Sen. McConchie.
Click here to read the full text of the bill.
Click here to watch Sen. McConchie address his constituents.