Illinois' budget overtime session costs equivalent to a year's new
teacher salary for each day
Send a link to a friend
[July 02, 2007]
Blagojevich's $6,000-a-day airline flights were not burdensome
enough to taxpayers. On Friday, the governor announced his intent to
start calling legislators into special session beginning as early as
The special sessions are expected to
cost taxpayers more than $42,000 a day -- nearly equal to the
average annual salary of an Illinois teacher.
The governor's announcement came just hours after the General
Assembly approved a temporary one-month "bare-bones" budget.
By calling special session days, the governor enables legislators
to collect daily expenses that they have had to forgo during June.
Ordinarily, if lawmakers don't complete their business on time, they
lose their daily expense funds. But, by invoking a "special session"
the governor enables those expense reimbursements to kick in.
[to top of second column]
Interestingly, the governor's special
session bonus payments aren't expected to result in lawmakers being
in session significantly more time than they would have been in
Springfield anyway -- because Senate President Emil Jones had
already released a session schedule calling for lawmakers to be in
Springfield almost every day during July.
So, while the governor and his party leaders continue to lock
heads over a permanent spending plan, the taxpayers foot the bill,
not only for the governor's daily plane trips and an empty but fully
staffed governor's mansion, but now for legislators' expenses as
Click here to respond to the editor about this