COLLINSVILLE – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, to block an automatic pay increase for lawmakers was signed into law Wednesday.
“Politicians shouldn’t take a pay raise when the state is in such dire fiscal shape,” said Stuart. “When I took office seven months ago, the state was in its second year without a budget and I pledged to not accept my pay until a budget was in place. Rejecting any pay raise is the right thing for lawmakers to do.”
Stuart’s House Bill 643 prevents an automatic pay increase from going into effect and freezes legislative travel and lodging reimbursement rates at 2011 levels. Stuart also introduced legislation to eliminate travel reimbursements and cut politician pay. She has rejected a lucrative taxpayer-funded legislative pension.
Specifically, HB 643 sets General Assembly per diem rates at $111 per session day, sets mileage reimbursement at $0.39 per mile and prohibits cost of living adjustments for fiscal year 2018. The per diem and mileage rates are the same as those used in fiscal years 2012 through 2017.
“As I go door-to-door, I hear from families struggling with increasing taxes and salaries that fail to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of living,” Stuart added. “Too many people in my community are struggling despite going to work every day and having done everything right. Of all people, politicians shouldn’t be getting a raise.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner noted the bill was overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers of both parties, protects taxpayers and is fiscally responsible for Illinois.
“I want to thank members of the General Assembly who came together on a bipartisan basis to pass this legislation. This bill saves taxpayers money, and it’s a step in the right direction,.” he said.
– The Illinois Business Journal