Bill proposes state lawmakers cut their own pay

By WEEK Producer

March 8, 2012 Updated Mar 8, 2012 at 11:44 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Democratic State Senator Dave Koehler said Illinois lawmakers need to lead by example in these tough times and cut their own pay.

Thursday, the state senate passed a bill co-sponsored by Koehler which requires members of the Illinois House and Senate to give up 12 days' pay, or about $3,000.

It also freezes the salaries of all state officials, rejecting the pay raise that Governor Pat Quinn included in his budget proposal last month.

"And we're asking the governor's office to follow suit because there are some things of course that we don't control," said State Senator Dave Koehler, 46th District. "But really across the board everybody has to continue to cut back because this year is going to be an even tougher year than last year."

Republican State Senator Darin Lahood agrees, "When you look at where our current fiscal state is, you know, everybody has to feel the pain, and that has to start at the top with legislators. We have to set the example."

This is the third year in a row that legislators have taken a pay cut.

The measure now moves to the house, where Koehler expects it to pass without issue.

Also Thursday, the conservative Illinois Policy Institute proposed cutting $4.5 billion from Governor Quinn's proposed budget.

Including cutting salaries for state employees by 10 percent and making local school districts pay for down-state teacher retirements.

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