House Approves Bill to Block Illinois Lawmaker Pay Raise

The bill would block 2 percent cost-of-living increase that lawmakers are automatically due

The Illinois House of Representatives has moved to block a contentious pay raise for lawmakers.

The bill passed Tuesday would block the 2 percent cost-of-living increase that lawmakers are automatically due.

The bipartisan vote to approve the bill followed a debate in which Republicans questioned House Speaker Michael Madigan about why their previous efforts to block the raise were never allowed to come to a vote. The Democrat did not directly respond.

The pay-raise issue has become a flashpoint in the budget stalemate between the Democrat-controlled Legislature and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"Governor Rauner appreciates today's action in the House and thanks all those members who showed leadership on this issue," Lance Trover, a spokesperson for the governor, said. "We encourage President Cullerton to swiftly move this legislation to the governor's desk for his signature. Governor Rauner is ready to work with Speaker Madigan, Leader Durkin and all members of the General Assembly to pass true structural reforms and a balanced budget."

The Senate would still need to approve the bill but isn't in session until next week. A Democratic caucus spokeswoman said it wasn't clear when or if the Senate will vote. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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