State Capitol, January 8 2019 — Tomorrow at noon, Illinois will have a new legislature sworn into office, with the largest class of freshman lawmakers in anyone’s memory.
But in this last full day of the old legislature, a few final pieces of legislation move through at the 11th hour. On Tuesday, the House voted to allow State agency Directors to have a salary increase from a cap of $150,000 to $172,000. Supporters of the legislation say the state can’t attract top talent when other states are paying much higher salaries. Opponents say the state can’t pay it’s bills now, is running a deficit and that this sends a bad message to the middle managers in the state, who have had their pay frozen for several years.
The House passed that on a vote of 68-37, but must pass the Senate.
The House also passed a bill supported by incoming Governor JB Pritzker, that terminates the Illinois State Tollway Authority Board. That passed overwhelmingly on a vote of 100-6. That still has to pass the Senate as well.
And this afternoon, Gov Rauner and Lt Gov Sanguinetti held, what is likely their final press conference, and spoke with reporters for 40 mins in the Governor’s office at the Capitol, about some of their achievements and future plans.
Gov Rauner said he will return to the business of building businesses, and in supporting nonprofits — particularly in the field of education.
He mentioned he was proud of his efforts to rebuild the computer and technical foundations of state government, which had been woefully out of date. He also thought the US Supreme Court’s validation that forced union participation to become a state workers, as they held in the Janus case, was a long-lasting significant victory, which he caused to get started.