As the State of Illinois faces a $7 billion to $8 billion revenue shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) believes lawmakers need to take steps to be part of the fiscal solution. On May 20, Rep. Grant signed on as a Chief Co-sponsor of HB 5777, which would reduce legislator pay to 2019 levels for the next fiscal year.
“While I disagree with it, enshrined in the statutes is a provision that mandates lawmakers receive an automatic cost of living adjustment (COLA) each year unless we take steps to reject the COLA,” said Grant. “Through this new bill that was filed on Monday, we would reject next year’s pay increase and also eliminate the increase we received in 2019. Honestly, I’d like to see this bill go further and include all state employees so we could make a real dent in the deficit.”
Specifically, through HB 5777, the automatic 2.6% pay raise scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2020 and the 2.4% pay raise legislators received last year would be eliminated from their pay for the next fiscal year.
“There is no justification whatsoever for lawmakers to receive a pay increase while millions of Illinoisans are enduring financial hardships due to the health pandemic,” added Grant. “This is also one way we can help reduce budget expenditures for Fiscal Year 2021 and help close the budget hole.”