Senate needs to act on pay freeze for lawmakers

Springfield – In tough budgetary times, lawmakers should lead by example by freezing their own salaries, according to State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington)

“The current budget is wildly out of balance, and as lawmakers begin negotiations on the next budget we know we are facing shortfalls and increasing costs, so we have to find areas to cut spending,” said Barickman. “Freezing the salaries of lawmakers is a small but important first step that allows lawmakers to show they are willing to lead by example.”

House Bill 5760, currently assigned to the Senate Government Reform Committee, would block Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for lawmakers, along with any increases in per diems or mileage reimbursement rates. The bill also prohibits automatic raises for statewide constitutional officers, State’s attorneys, and all appointees in positions in which the Compensation Review Board previously recommended or determined pay.

The legislation previously passed the Illinois House with wide support and follows similar measures which have been enacted in each of the last nine fiscal years.

“This is common-sense legislation,” said Barickman. “I remain optimistic that we can get this to the Governor’s desk quickly as the first step of several necessary budgetary reforms.”

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