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Reform the Illinois Compensation Review Board

Lt. Gov. Quinn and Rep. Froehlich proposed a constitutional amendment to reform the Illinois Compensation Review Board

    CHICAGO – Following the overwhelming response from more than 17,000 Illinois taxpayers who joined an online petition drive demanding a full Senate vote to reject unfair and undeserved pay raises, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn joined with Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg) Wednesday to propose a constitutional amendment to reform the Illinois Compensation Review Board, an automatic political pay raise machine that has plagued state government for decades.

    “Last week the people spoke and their protest was heard by the Illinois Senate,” said Lt. Governor Quinn at an 11:00 a.m. news conference at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. “We must continue to listen to Illinois taxpayers and reform this upside-down system that allows public officials to quietly receive automatic pay hikes without a standard up-or-down vote.”

    Under a complicated and convoluted process designed to shield legislators from having to vote for their own raises, the Illinois Compensation Review Board makes pay raise recommendations for lawmakers, judges and other statewide officials. The board’s recommendations automatically take effect after 30 session days unless both the Illinois House and Senate vote to reject the raises.

    The proposed constitutional amendment would reform the rubber-stamp process of the Illinois Compensation Review Board in the following ways:

  1. Both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate must affirmatively vote for the salary recommendations to take effect. No vote means no raise.
  2. After any salary proposal is presented, legislators must vote to approve the salary recommendations within 30 calendar days, eliminating the ambiguity that exists in current law about what constitutes a “session day.”
  3. No pay raise can take effect until legislators have stood before the public in a general election.

    “We must ensure that Illinois taxpayers have a system of accountability when it comes to compensating public officials,” Quinn said.

    Last week, with the pay raise deadline looming, more than 17,000 Illinois taxpayers logged on to, signing an online petition and sending e-mail messages to Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. demanding that the Illinois Senate immediately reject political pay raises for themselves. Responding to the public outcry, the Illinois Senate called a vote and unanimously rejected the proposed pay raises.

Text of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment (PDF)

The Pay Raises Were Rejected!

Dear Illinois citizen,

    Thank you. In just two days, more than 17,000 of you visited this page and helped to send a message to Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones Jr.

    Your message was heard.

    At 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12, 2008, the Illinois Senate did the right thing and voted to reject pay raises for themselves and other public officials.

Thank you for your interest,

Pat Quinn
Lt. Governor of Illinois

Did Your Senator Vote to Reject the Pay Raise?

Roll Call on House Joint Resolution #132

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