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Illinois House Votes to Take a (Small) Paycut

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 6, 2011 4:00PM

2011_1_12_statehouse.jpg Illinois legislators could take a hit to their own pocket books, eventually. The Illinois House voted 85-14 yesterday to give back about 10% of their paychecks, about $6,784 from their current base salary of $67,836. Illinois Statehouse News reports the bill could save the state about $1.2 million, a small drop in a very large $13 billion deficit.

The move seems more symbolic than anything, as Illinois legislators are some of the highest paid lawmakers in the country, with only four other state legislatures seeing larger salaries. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg), who sponsored the bill, said “I think it is an important thing that we need to demonstrate to our community members that we really are in this dire situation with them.” However, some lawmakers see the bill as early electioneering. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) said “We don’t want to retire on a limited income based on the pensions we haven’t paid…I think we can find much better legislation to get you re-elected.”

The bill now heads to the Senate. If it is approved, it will take effect for lawmakers’ terms that commenced on or after January 12, 2011. Since the Illinois constitution does not allow pay changes during a legislator’s current term, the bill will not be effective until 2013.