Rep. Mark Walker Chief Co-Sponsor of Legislation Allowing Lawmakers to Opt Out of Salary Increases

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – State lawmakers would be able to opt out of cost of living adjustments under legislation recently co-sponsored by state Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, and instead send their salary increases to the state’s pension funds.

“Currently, lawmakers aren’t allowed individually to refuse a cost of living adjustment,” Walker said. “Each year, both the House and the Senate have to vote to decline a pay raise. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that this past session. Even though I’ve said from the beginning I’m not taking the latest pay increase, lawmakers should be able to refuse increases we don’t need. That’s why I recently signed on as chief co-sponsor of this legislation.”

Under recently introduced House Bill 3855, members of the General Assembly may at any time elect not to receive any increase in pay based on a cost of living adjustment. If lawmakers decide not to accept the raise, the money will be returned to the state for use in paying off pension debts or overdue bills, making good on promises to address the problems of the state first before increasing their own pay. House Bill 3855 currently has bipartisan sponsorship.

“I’m glad many of my colleagues agree this reform needs to happen,” Walker said. “Despite many good accomplishments this past session, there’s still a lot of work to be done. We need to correct Illinois’ fiscal future first. I believe now is simply not the time to give a taxpayer-funded raise of over $250,000 to the General Assembly. This legislation ensures state spending benefits the people we represent, not ourselves.”



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