State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) filed House Bill 1787 today that would make state workers’ salary payments a continuing appropriation, guaranteeing payment during a budget impasse. This measure would keep workers paid and prevent a government shutdown.
This has become a particularly urgent issue due to Attorney General Lisa Madigan filing a motion in court to end payment to state employees beginning February 28th, 2017. In response, there has been talking of a similar bill that would provide for a short term appropriation for state worker salaries. However, a stopgap appropriation would be a temporary fix and would leave state worker pay vulnerable to future attacks. This proposal is a long-term solution to the problem of state worker pay being held hostage in a larger political fight.
“This legislation will prevent state worker pay from being used as a political pawn. Families across Illinois rely on the vital services provided by our state agencies. Before I arrived in the General Assembly, legislators chose to make their pay a continuing appropriation which guaranteed their pay with or without a budget. However, those legislators did not afford those protections to state employees. This legislation will keep state worker payout of the political games that are too often played in Springfield.”
If enacted, this legislation would be effective immediately. Bourne previously co-sponsored similar legislation in the 99th General Assembly that was not allowed a committee hearing. Representative Bourne and her colleagues are calling on the House of Representatives to take up this issue as soon as they return to the Capitol next week.