When I saw Bill Brady lunching outside 312, the LaSalle Street bistro, on a day the state senate was in session, I didn’t realize I might have to pick up the tab. If I had, I might have walked over to his table, and eaten off his plate.
Unfortunately, I was in a hurry that day, and I didn’t realize that Illinois lawmakers are entitled to $139 for meals and hotel rooms each day the legislature is in session. Why, that job is like a paid vacation to Springfield. You can stay at the Red Roof Inn out by the highway for 50 bucks, eat at IHOP, and still have plenty of money left over to visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum.
Bill Brady doesn’t believe in taking government handouts -- especially after he’s caught red-handed skipping work, as he was when the Daily Herald reported that he’s missed 25 session days since winning the Republican nomination for governor. So Brady has asked the state senate not to reimburse him for the days he’s not in Springfield. That may cost him a whopping $3,475.
But Brady isn’t giving back any of the $78,000 salary he earns as a state senator. Because forgoing actual pay for days he didn’t work would cost him a lot more. Last year, the state senate was in session for 72 days. That means every senator earned $1,083 per session day. Giving up 25 days’ wages would cost Brady $27,083. Bill Brady can’t afford to give up that kind of money. As we learned when he released his taxes, Bill Brady doesn't pay them.
You have to wonder whether Bill Brady’s homebuilding business pays its contractors on days they don’t work. Probably not. If those guys were smart, they’d quit pounding nails and run for Brady’s seat in the senate. You can take the whole day off, and still get your check.