Senate votes to block cost of living increases for state lawmakers

State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and an overwhelming majority of his colleagues joined together to pass legislation that will block all state lawmakers from receiving cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for the current fiscal year.

“We’re five weeks into the fiscal year without a budget in place, there is no reason that lawmakers should receive a raise during the continued gridlock,” said Senator Barickman. “Many state services are without funding and people are hurting, so there is simply no way to justify a raise for state officials.”

HB576 eliminates all FY16 pay raises for members of the General Assembly, state’s attorneys, elected constitutional officers, agency directors, and other state officials whose pay is set by the Compensation Review Board. The measure also freezes per diem and mileage reimbursement rates for legislators.

“This won’t save enough money to balance the budget, the total savings is just a drop in the bucket compared to the deficit,” said Senator Barickman. “But this is about responsibility to the taxpayers and trying to restore some confidence in state government.”

HB576 passed the Illinois Senate with only two “no” votes, and previously sailed through the Illinois House with just a single nay.

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