Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Freezes Paychecks of State Legislators

English: Gov. Pat Quinn making a point at Gree...

English: Gov. Pat Quinn making a point at Green Expo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) took drastic measures to “encourage” lawmakers to halt bleeding budget problems.  The state of Illinois has an unfunded pension liability of over $100 billion.  For months state legislators have deliberated to provide answers to this engorged fiasco, but to no avail have they come to a compromise.  Last month, lawmakers formed a committee to find a solutionThis was the solution they derived after years of debate.

It should come as no surprise to regular visitors of this blog that I have become embarrassed to live in this state.  I sure I’m not the only one.  There are a plethora of blunders to provide as examples as to my reasoning; from April’s reveal of Medicaid payments to INELIGIBLE recipients to having a worse credit rating than the African country of Botswana.  I could go on and on.  But I will spare the state anymore embarrassment.  As much as I’m embarrassed at my lawmakers, I am still proud to be an Illinoisan. 

At this point I think it is fair to state that the state of Illinois is the most poorly governed state in the country.  It is probably in the direst economic situation, most directly because of political failures.  Additionally, some of you may know of my disdain in the manner this state is governed by Gov. Quinn.  He has essentially allowed Speaker Mike Madigan to govern the state.  Some critics have called him Governor Jell-O.  I have never called him that.  Regardless of his political blunders I believe there should be some respect for the office of governor.

Well after many months it seems my governor may have developed a “spine.”  The governor this past week froze the paychecks of all state lawmakers, including his own.  He has said that they will remain frozen until a plausible and effective solution is ascertained in regards to the pension crisis.

Many critics have stated that this is more of a grandstanding, political maneuver only done to please the populace.  That may very well be true.  But, I am glad something is being done.  As I argued last December, many politicians have lost the “incentive” to do their job simply because their benefits are guaranteed.

I think this move will finally make these lawmakers do their job.  It is quite pathetic that it has to be done, but they put themselves in this position.  After all why should they be paid, or given any entitlement, if they fail to do their job?  Are you guaranteed of a paycheck regardless if you do your job or not?  Because I certainly I’m not.  Nor should my state lawmakers.

Hopefully this method can be implanted on a national level.  Maybe then we can avoid a “fiscal cliff” or economic calamity every six months.  Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?

Do you think this method will prove effective?

Should it be implanted on a national level?


Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

3 responses to “Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Freezes Paychecks of State Legislators”

  1. JF Owen says :

    Effective – probably not. Most, although certainly not all, politicians have other sources of income. Many, especially those in congress, are extremely wealthy. The short term effects of freezing their wages will be minimal.

    Past that, I suspect that the Governor is on shaky legal ground unless your state constitution specifically gives him the right to withhold legislator’s salaries. If it does, I’m surprised that this tactic hasn’t been used before. If it doesn’t, he’s one court injunction away from the paychecks starting to flow.

    However, any pressure that can be put on a politician to do their job is a good thing. Given that, I wish you and Illinois good luck. If it does work, maybe you’re on to something.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      I believe Illinois lawmakers make a base salary of 65k, which is in the top 10 in the country. The Trib article I read did point out that many do of course “earn” lots more from joking committees and other functions. I still think if held lawful it would be effective because it hits their wallets. 65k is a lot.

      As for the legality, the governor believes there is an executive veto he can implement in the budget where he freezes their salaries. This if course is uncharted legal territory. As they are researching if this is legal in the meanwhile it could motivate them.

      I wish it could be implemented on a national level. 🙂 things would then surely get done!

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