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Comptroller Mendoza sets record straight on pay raise rumors

manar 052420Political ambition and integrity are at odds for some Illinois lawmakers

BUNKER HILL – Some Illinois lawmakers took to social media this week to disingenuously spread misinformation regarding pay increases for legislators in the state budget approved early Sunday morning, prompting Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to step in and issue a statement dispelling the falsehood. Now, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) says some of his colleagues willfully deceived the public for political gain.

“There is not a single member of the Illinois House or Senate who will receive a pay raise. My colleagues in the Senate are aware of this now and were aware of this when we voted,” Manar said. “At a time when our constituents are all feeling economic hardship and angst, for lawmakers to knowingly suggest otherwise is cheap, disingenuous, and indicative of the worst of our politics. The people we represent deserve better and are owed the truth.”

Despite some confusion among House members, Manar says members of the Senate fully understood both the budget measure’s intent and impact, which was covered in detail on the Senate floor prior to the vote.

“Republicans are arguing today that we should have just ceded our legislative authority to a yet to be named judge in a presumed lawsuit that hasn’t even been file,” said Manar. “Instead, we chose to make the pay raise worth nothing and we stopped it.”

Due to a past court decision challenging how the General Assembly blocks its own pay increases, the legislature took a  proactive route to ensure a pay freeze for legislators. Senate Bill 264 appropriates $0 to fund legislative cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, meaning the Illinois Comptroller has no authority to process pay increases.

“The General Assembly appropriated no money for legislative COLAs, so lawmakers will be paid the same amount as last year,” Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza said.

Moments before the Senate voted on the spending plan early Sunday morning, Manar made clear to his colleagues on the Senate floor that no pay increase was included in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal under consideration.

“There is no pay raise paid for in this budget. I need to say that on the record. This budget appropriates the same amount of money as the current fiscal year,” Manar said in his closing remarks. ”It does not pay for a pay raise for the legislature. One more time, it does not provide an increased appropriation to raise the pay of legislators. That was a choice we made for obvious reasons.”

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Sen. Andy Manar

Sen. Andy Manar

48th Senate District

Years served:2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Chairperson); Education; Executive Appointments (Vice-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (AP) (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Special Issues (ED); Labor; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born November 15, 1975, in Bunker Hill; B.A. in History, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; past chairman of Macoupin County Board; married (wife, Trista), has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Avery Bourne
Sue Scherer