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Bush urges Rauner to sign legislative pay freeze to avoid higher special session costs

wagefreezeSPRINGFIELD – Special session could cost taxpayers more money if the governor fails to sign legislation to freeze reimbursements.

“There’s a bill sitting on the governor’s desk that would freeze pay rates and reimbursements for legislators. It’s been on his desk since June 29,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), sponsor of the legislation. “The governor’s special sessions are needlessly expensive, costing taxpayers upwards of $48,000 each day. If the governor doesn’t sign this bill, the special sessions he’s demanding become even more expensive.”

House Bill 643 freezes the Illinois General Assembly's mileage reimbursement and per diem rates at previous levels. If the governor does not sign the measure, the per diem rate for legislators will jump from $111 to $142 and the mileage reimbursement rate will go from $0.39 per mile to $0.535 per mile.

In addition, the initiative eliminates the automatic cost of living adjustment for legislators. The Comptroller's Office states that the FY 18 cost of living adjustment would be 2.1 percent without the passage of a freeze.

“As legislators, we’re doing what we can to keep costs down,” Bush said. “The governor already vetoed a budget that cut government spending by $3 billion. The governor should rein in the costs of his special sessions by signing this bill.”

House Bill 643 was sent to the governor on June 29 after it passed both chambers with bipartisan support. 

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