Members of the Illinois General Assembly are among the highest-paid state legislators in the country.
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, Illinois lawmakers earned a base salary of $67,836 in 2012, along with a $111 per diem for each session day. Legislators in nearby Indiana earn just $22,616 a year.
Many Illinois legislators make far more than the base amount due to bonuses that come with leadership positions.
According to data from the Comptrollers state employee salary database, The Ledger, the average salary of a state representative in 2012, including additional leadership pay, was $72,591.
The highest-paid representatives were House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, who both earned $90,930.
Efforts to limit legislator salaries, including votes to freeze pay and forfeit 12 days of compensation, have fallen short in the eyes of reformers.
Taxpayers are footing the bill for cushy legislative salaries and incredibly generous pension packages (how does a cool $2.5 million in lifetime benefits sound?) in return for continued fiscal mismanagement.