Legislation Would Prevent Lawmakers from Receiving Pay Until Budget is Passed

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Springfield - Of the 177 members of the Illinois General Assembly, you probably aren't able to find one who says that their is job easy.

That's especially true these days as the state is in the ninth month of the fiscal year, and is still without a finalized budget.

That's a tough financial reality for universities, community colleges, and social service agencies.

"For the first 90 days of this year, the house of representatives only met nine days.  And at the same time, and I don't use this word lightly, we have a crisis in Illinois.  We have, right now, about $7.5B in unpaid bills and 50,000 vendors are owed money," said state representative Bill Mitchell.

While 10% of the state is still not being paid, lawmakers are.

Mitchell wants that to change.

"The legislation I have says that if we don't have a balanced budget we should not get paid.  The general assembly's job is to pass a balanced budget.  That's what we're paid to do.  And if we don't do that, we shouldn't get paid.  It's pretty simple," said Mitchell.

Other area lawmakers agree.

"I agree with Bill Mitchell.  That if lawmakers shouldn't get paid either, it's just very frustrating when we can't get the leaders to get moving on things," said state representative Sue Scherer.

State rep Avery Bourne added,"it's time that we say enough is enough.  Lawmakers don't get paid unless there's a balanced budget as verified by the auditor general and then we can move forward.  I think this, if it's passed, will grease the wheels and get things going."

While a 2016 budget hasn't been finalized, and a 2017 budget hasn't been discussed yet, lawmakers have a little over a month left of the spring legislative session.

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