Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker signed the 2020 state budget despite calls to line-item veto the budget to stop the pay raise for Illinois House and Senate Members. Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) voted against the package that included the legislative pay increase. The day after the passage of the Illinois state budget, Bourne joined her House Republican colleagues in calling on the legislature to pass legislation to stop the raise or for Pritzker to stop the raise through his amendatory veto powers.
“With our state facing so many financial challenges, legislators should not be receiving a pay increase. I refused to take the lawmaker pension and have consistently opposed these pay increases. Every year I’ve been in the General Assembly, I have co-sponsored legislation that would block the pay increase, but this year, Democrats in the majority refused to call that legislation for a vote. It is absurd that Illinois’ budget included a pay raise for legislators,” said Bourne.
The automatic pay raise, technically referred to as a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), for legislators comes out to around 2.4 percent increase, or $1,600. The pay raise is automatic unless lawmakers or the governor take action. The legislature has passed a law each year to block the COLA since 2009. Bourne-has co-sponsored this legislation to block the pay increase each year she has been in office. In an effort to prevent the automatic pay raise for lawmakers, several House Republicans filed legislation at the beginning of session, which were subsequently ignored by House Democrat leadership. Rep. Bourne co-sponsored House Bill 2965 this year which would have blocked the pay increase. The majority party in the House did not allow that bill or any similar bill to be heard in committee this year.
Governor Pritzker had the option to issue an amendatory veto of the budget implementation act to reject the COLA and many lawmakers called on him to do so. However, he refused and signed the budget as-is on June 5th.