After extensive criticism from Republican lawmakers and Governor Rauner, a two percent pay hike for lawmakers’ salaries was rejected in the House on July 28, when House Bill 576 received overwhelming support by a vote of 101-1. The measure has been sent to the Senate, and could be considered by Senate lawmakers when they convene on August 4.
Because of the way that state law is written, legislators are automatically given a cost-of-living adjustment, essentially a pay increase, each fiscal year. Though lawmakers rejected these automatic pay increases in recent years, the Democrat-controlled legislature failed to stop the automatic pay increase from taking effect in Fiscal Year 2016.
In response, Senate Republican lawmakers joined together to sponsor Senate Bill 1083, which removed the “cost-of-living” adjustment. However, that bill was not called by Democrat leadership for a vote in the Senate.
Republican legislators joined Governor Rauner in criticizing the pay hikes, and called for Democrats to take action on Republican legislation to eliminate the cost of living adjustment for the next fiscal year.