Illinois lawmakers’ pay 4th highest in U.S. after $12,000 raise

January 18, 2023

Lawmakers' pay growth double that of their constituents, Illinois Policy Institute analysis shows

PRESS RELEASE from the
ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE

CONTACT: Rebecca Susmarski (312) 607-4977

Illinois lawmakers’ pay 4th highest in U.S. after $12,000 raise
Lawmakers’ pay growth double that of their constituents, Illinois Policy Institute analysis shows

CHICAGO (Jan. 18, 2023) – Illinois lawmakers are the fourth highest-paid in the nation following a recent raise of more than $12,000, according to new analysis from the Illinois Policy Institute.

Illinois General Assembly members have been the fourth highest-paid lawmakers in the nation — behind those in New York, California and Pennsylvania — since Jan. 9, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that increased their base salary from $72,096 to $85,000. Among states where legislatures are considered less than “full-time,” Illinois’ lawmakers are the highest paid, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

While lawmakers have secured pay raises that far outpace the near-record inflation experienced in 2022, Illinoisans’ incomes have failed to keep pace. Since 2018, Illinois lawmakers’ pay has grown over twice as fast as the state’s median household income and more than 41% faster than the average private-sector employee’s salary.

Illinois lawmakers’ pay versus salaries in and out of the state:

  • Illinois lawmakers’ base pay has grown by more than $17,000, or 25%, since Pritzker’s administration began. Before Pritzker took office, lawmakers had not seen a pay raise since 2008.
  • Since 2020 – the newest comparable data available – lawmaker pay has increased more in Illinois than every other state except New York, which raised its lawmakers’ pay by $32,000 this year. The increase brought New York legislators’ base salary to $142,000, the highest in the nation.
  • Many lawmakers will receive even more than $85,000 after bonuses — ranging from $12,000 to $16,000 — for committee responsibilities and leadership positions. Lawmakers also receive a per diem worth $155 per day and mileage of 58.5 cents per mile when traveling in official capacities.

“While Illinois workers watch their taxes grow much faster than their salaries, the state’s leaders have prioritized taking care of themselves instead of the people of Illinois,” said Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research at the Illinois Policy Institute. “Lawmakers should use their new session to refocus their priorities and bring much-needed relief to those who elected them. Lawmakers can show they’ve earned their higher salaries by implementing necessary reforms, such as property tax reform, that would reduce Illinoisans’ cost burden and bring more economic stability to the state.”

To learn more about Illinois lawmakers’ pay increase, visit illn.is/lawmakers.