by Kristina Rasmussen
Even though the state budget is billions of dollars out of whack, many state government employees are set to receive a pay raise today. From the Pantagraph:
SPRINGFIELD -- Despite a state budget that is billions of
dollars out of whack, more than 46,000 state workers will see
bigger paychecks on Thursday.
Judges, prison guards, welfare office workers and mental health
specialists will see raises and cost-of-living adjustments worth an
estimated $105.6 million.
Some of the increases are significant:
And, personal assistant workers represented by the Service
Employees International Union will see a more than 7 percent
increase on July 1. [my emphasis]Quite a few folks are cool on the idea of giving raises during a major economic downturn:
"I just think it shows how Gov. Quinn isn't serious about
getting a handle on this problem," said state Rep. Bill Mitchell,
State Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria, said companies throughout the
state have cut back on raises during the economic meltdown and the
state should follow suit.
"I think everybody ought to share in the pain," Leitch said.
Governor Quinn is holding a press conference today at 10:30am to talk about his ideas for spending cuts. Here's an idea: don't hike wages and save $105 million. This would seem like a no-brainer, especially as many government jobs already pay far above the statewide average.