Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Work Part Time! Earn $838 A Day!

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    NEWSLETTERS

    How would you like a part-time job that only requires you to work five months a year, but pays $67,836 with a pension and health insurance?

    Run for the General Assembly.

    With the GA back in Springfield Tuesday, Ward Room decided to take a look at the sweet deal members of Illinois’s “part time” legislature enjoy.

    First, the salary. Illinois pays its legislators the fifth-highest salary in the nation, after only California, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

    Illinois’s legislature is considered part time. However, it usually only meets the first five months of the year, with a fall “veto session” to deal with unfinished business and gubernatorial vetoes of the winter and spring’s legislation.

    In 2011, the GA spent a total of 96 days in session. (And 22 were "perfunctory days," during which little business was done.) Legislators also receive $132 a day stipend just for showing up in Springfield. That means our senators and representatives were paid $838.63 a week extra  for doing their jobs. I’ve never had a part-time job that paid $838 a week.

    Legislators also receive health insurance, plus a state-funded pension plan that pays 82 percent of their salaries into the General Assembly Retirement System. Most part-time jobs, of course, offer no benefits.

    It used to be teaching was the profession to go into if you wanted short work days, long weekends and summers off. But now the politicians are forcing teachers to work longer hours. Maybe teachers should get revenge by running for the legislature.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!