GOP candidate Marter disappointed, saddened by outcome of spring legislative session in Springfield
Jim Marter, a past chairman of the Republian Party of Kendall County who has announced his candidacy for Illinois' 14th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, told the Kendall County Reporter that he is disgusted with the pay raises that state lawmakers will receive as part of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's new $40.1 billion budget that goes into effect on July 1.
“They just drove jobs out of the state, they're driving people out of the state and you don't see any end in sight," Marter said. "That's the sad thing."
According to a June 2 article by the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), the 2.4-percent pay increase will raise legislators' salaries by $1,600 apiece. State legislators had made $67,836 each year since 2008, a figure that doesn't include per diems, reimbursements for mileage or the $10,000 stipend for a committee chairmanship, nor are pension payouts to former legislators factored in. An IPI study says state lawmakers' base salary was the fifth-highest in the country as of 2016.
Another report presented earlier this year by WalletHub said that Illinois' overall tax burden of combined state and local taxes was eighth worst in the U.S., and the median effective tax rate on an Illinois household of 14.89 percent after adjusting for cost of living is the highest in the country.
While there was no cost-of-living freeze included in the governor's budget proposal, the state Senate on May 31 introduced a bill to correct that, the IPI article says in citing an Associated Press report. However, the House of Representatives did not take action on the bill prior to adjournment.
House Bill 2965, with more than 40 Republican representatives signing on as co-sponsors, would have canceled the raises. However, Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) said in a June 2 Facebook post that House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) adjourned the session without a vote taken on the bill. Butler also called for the House to return to session to pass the legislation.