State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) is pushing for legislation to address an unfair loophole in the General Assembly pay structure by reforming the way in which lawmakers are paid upon leaving office.
“As with any job, but especially in this state where lawmakers tend to leave office for suspect reasons or to take advantage of lobbying opportunities, one shouldn’t receive pay for work they didn’t do,” Rep. Mazzochi said. “Why should taxpayers foot the bill when they receive no benefit or representation?”
Illinois lawmakers are paid once a month on the last working day of each month. Legislators may collect a full month’s salary as long as they hold office for at least part of that period.
“This is a rule that has been taken advantage of time and again. We saw it most recently with former Rep. Arroyo.” The revelation that State Representative Luis Arroyo was arrested on bribery charges in late October brought about immediate calls for his resignation. However, Rep. Arroyo resisted doing so until November 1st, by which time a special investigative panel had been called to determine whether or not to expel him from the House. As a result, he will receive his entire November legislative salary.
“The people of Illinois are continuing to pay him while the people in his district won’t receive representation? In what world is that fair?” Rep. Mazzochi continued.
House Bill 818 changes the reimbursement structure so that if a member of the General Assembly leaves office early, they are only entitled to compensation for the days of the month they actually held the office.
Filed in January, the bill remains in the Rules Committee. Bills in the Rules Committee are not released without agreement by the Democrat leadership majority.