Committee OKs furlough days for top officials

Staff reports

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois’ top political figures would have to take 12 furlough days during the next budget year under a bill approved by the Senate Executive Committee Monday.

The bill also prohibits cost-of-living pay increases for lawmakers beginning July 1 and cuts daily expense money paid to lawmakers while they are in Springfield.

Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, said the reductions are the same as those in place for top officials this year.  It will save the state more than $1.2 million next year, he said.

The 12 furlough days apply to state lawmakers, statewide elected officials and top management at state agencies, including directors.  For state lawmakers, who make a base salary of $67,836 annually, the 12 unpaid furlough days amount to about $3,119.

The bill limits daily expense money for lawmakers while they are in session to $111.  That is the same as this year, but below the roughly $140 that was paid two years ago.

The bill goes to the full Senate for consideration. The House last month approved a bill cutting lawmakers’ pay by 10 percent.  That bill is stalled in a Senate committee.