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Pat Quinn Takes Pay Cut, Calls Out Critics

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 21, 2009 5:20PM

Just days after giving his budget address to state legislators, Governor Pat Quinn challenged critics to come up with some solutions of their own. "It's easy to chirp about making a budget better," the governor told the Tribune editorial board. "If you've got a better plan, you'd better lay it out now because we are in a crisis." Quinn acknowledged that his plan to raise taxes and cut state spending may cost him politically, but he's also counting on honesty paying off at the ballot box. "My hunch is that people will rather have a governor that levels with them and sometimes delivers information that may not be easy to hear about, but is absolutely essential for the well-being of our state and the common good," Quinn said. "Most political consultants would say don't do what we're doing, I suppose, if you're just interested in your personal election future. But here I am."

The governor also announced Friday that he wasn't interested in taking the entire salary the State of Illinois pays its governors. "I don't intend to take any pay beyond I think about 150 [thousand dollars], something like that. I'll give the rest of it back to the government, both federal and state, and to charity, to non-for-profit groups," Quinn told Chicago Public Radio. He also says that he'll take the four unpaid furlough he's asking state employees to take, noting that it's important to be a good leader in times of crisis.

According to a survey of governor's salaries done by Stateline in 2007, Illinois ranked among the top ten highest paid states (although paychecks seem to have gone up since then).