Competing proposals in state House could settle state employee pay dispute


There are competing proposals surfacing in the Illinois House to avert a possible pay stoppage for state employees.

Speaker Michael Madigan’s, D-Chicago, spokesman confirms Democratic leadership are evaluating a proposal for an emergency appropriation to pay state employees. This after Attorney General Lisa Madigan moved to block state employee pay if there’s no appropriation.

There’s another pay proposal that’s been introduced. State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Litchfield, said Republicans want to make state employee pay a continuing appropriation, meaning they would get paid even if there’s no budget, not just now but anytime in the future.

“And the importance of that is that lots of families in Illinois rely on the services that state agencies provide and so this would prevent a government shutdown and it would also take state employee pay out of the middle of these political games that are being played in Springfield,” she said.

Bourne said before she joined the legislature, state lawmakers made their own pay was continuing appropriation, “but they didn’t give this protection to anyone else.”

“I think providing state employees the same assurance is a good path forward and really a showing of good faith for the employees who are caught in the middle right now,” she said.

The emergency funding proposal, Bourne said, is another bandage. “What’s being talked about on the other side of the aisle are these little stopgap measures to get us from one point to the next.”

Bourne said emergency funding would delay addressing the state’s real issues further.

Speaker Madigan’s office said it appears everyone is moving to make sure there’s no interruption in government operations, and there could be action on one or the other next week.