Verschoore Pushes for Legislative Pay Cuts

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

 Continuing his call for fiscal responsibility, state Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan) is urging quick action on legislation that would lower the salaries and benefits for state legislators and constitutional officers to save the state money.

“It has been my goal this year to find ways to trim the budget, and I believe that everyone must share in the cuts that we are making to get our state back on track,” said Verschoore. “I have voted in the past to take furlough days and cut my own pay, and will continue to support such measures until the state is more financially stable.”

Senate Bill 266 would reduce legislative salaries for the third year in a row. It requires legislators to take twelve furlough days and prevents the cost of living increases or raises from going into affect for the coming year. The legislation also prevents the cost of living increases for state’s attorneys, constitutional officers, and appointed positions like agency directors and members of certain boards and commissions. Twelve furlough days for lawmakers is expected to save taxpayers more than $500,000 each year.

Verschoore has also supported legislation that would reduce the overall salary of General Assembly members by 10%.  At this amount, legislators would be paid $6,800 less than their current base salary; this would also eliminate cost of living increase for present and future General Assemblies. Although the legislation to cut legislators’ pay stalled in the Senate, Senate Bill 226 has passed the General Assembly and awaits final approval from the Governor.

“We do not have much time left before the new fiscal year starts and the cost of living increases would go into effect,” said Verschoore. “I am urging the Governor to act quickly to make sure that we are not losing this opportunity to save the state money. In our current situation, every dollar is important.”    

For more information on this or any of Rep. Verschoore’s legislation, please contact his constituent services office at (309) 558-3612.