Lawmaker Pay Freezes Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

The judge's ruling said that pay freezes for Illinois legislatures from 2009 to 2017 violated the state constitution


A Cook County judge has ruled that Illinois lawmakers violated the state constitution by freezing their salaries from 2009 to 2017.

Associated Circuit Judge Franklin Valderrama's ruling this week indicated that the prohibition on altering a legislator's compensation during a term of office includes freezing it. State Comptroller Susana Mendoza argued that the ban doesn't apply to pay reductions. She says it is meant to keep office-holders from enriching themselves.

The lawsuit was initially filed by former state Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin. The Democrat is now a Kane County judge. Former Belleville Democratic Sen. James Clayborne later joined.

Noland declined comment Thursday. Mendoza denounced what she called a "shameless money-grab" and pledged to continue her opposition.

A hearing is set for Aug. 7.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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