Sen. Righter opposes "unethical" salary raise for lawmakers
Giving lawmakers a pay raise from the pockets of taxpayers is unethical, State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) asserted in a recent statement.
“I voted no on an operating budget that relies on new taxes and provides for pay raise for state lawmakers,” Righter said in a statement posted on his website. “It could not be more unethical for legislators to demand even more from the pocketbooks of our taxpayers just to turn around and put it in their own pockets.”
Illinois lawmakers will make a starting salary of $70,000 a year after passing a Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget on June 1. A total of $40 billion from the spending budget will go towards the increase.
Illinois Policy claims that the general public were left mostly in the dark because of the rapid pace in which lawmakers introduced and passed the budget.
Over 40 Republican lawmakers opposed the raise, citing it as an extra burden on taxpayers.
According to Illinois Policy, taxpayers pay their lawmakers 2.5 times after calculations: once for their salaries and then for pensions.
“In total, lawmaker compensation costs Illinois taxpayers more than $32 million a year,” Vincent Caruso wrote in the Illinois Policy piece.
Pensions have been a problem in Illinois. On average, state lawmakers collect pension payouts of over $100,000 yearly, with 58 former lawmakers collecting $1.5 million in total pensions benefits.
This raise in salaries comes at a time when Illinois residents will have to pay extra taxes at the gas tank, from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon, effectively making the state the second highest in the nation in gas taxes.
Legislators are required to only work 70 days a year.