State lawmaker pay has increased by more than $17,000 during Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. State representatives and senators make the most for jobs considered less than full time, 4th in U.S. overall.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker approved raises for the statewide elected leaders just ahead of their inaugurations Jan. 9. State lawmakers will get $12,094 raises when they take office Jan. 11. Big hikes also went to Pritzker’s department leaders and their assistants.
A late Friday-night move would add nearly $12,000 to the salary of each state lawmaker, raise salaries for statewide elected leaders such as the governor, and boost salaries for agency directors and their subordinates. Plus, they get cost-of-living increases.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted May 24 to increase its members’ salaries 10% in December, followed by automatic annual pay increases each year up to 3%. Civic groups say the perpetual pay hikes pose future concern.
Springfield lawmakers will be the fourth-highest paid legislators in the nation after giving themselves a $2,700 raise in the 2023 state budget. Lawmakers’ salaries have increased 8% since Gov. J.B. Pritzker took office.
The Illinois General Assembly voted for a decade to eliminate annual cost-of-living adjustments for lawmaker salaries after the Great Recession. Now, former state lawmakers are suing the state to put that money right back into politicians’ pockets.
The fiscal year 2022 budget includes pay hikes for members of the Illinois General Assembly, who were already among the nation’s highest-paid state lawmakers. It also boosts office allowances and leader stipends.
No other state’s constitution or labor laws are like Illinois’ – broadly allowing government unions to override statutes simply by negotiating contrary provisions into collective bargaining agreements. Illinois may not be alone for long.