SPRINGFIELD -- Republicans in the Illinois Senate hold a dubious distinction: Because of a November shellacking, every one of them will have a caucus or leadership post -- and the accompanying stipend -- in this legislative session.
The allowances are paid on top of lawmakers' $67,836 base salary. The stipends range from $10,327 for those senators who will serve as the ranking Republicans on committees -- a job called "minority spokesman" -- to the $27,477 that Christine Radogno of Lemont will receive as the Senate's minority leader.
Lawmakers are also eligible for $111 for expenses each day they report to session in Springfield, and they may receive mileage reimbursement and office allowances.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported Tuesday that some GOP senators will pull double duty. But regardless of the number of assignments, however, each senator is entitled to just one stipend.
The 59-seat Senate has 21 standing committees but just 19 Republicans. Democrats added five seats in the fall election to rule with an unprecedented 40 votes.
Senate President John Cullerton -- a Chicago Democrat who, like Radogno, makes $95,300 with his stipend -- reduced the number of standing committees from 25 to 21 following the election.
Democrats merged the Licensed Activities and Pensions and Investments Committees and the Labor and Commerce Committees. The committees on gambling and redistricting were eliminated.
GOP leaders include deputy minority leader Matt Murphy of Palatine; assistant minority leaders Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, Dave Luechtefeld of Okawville, Dave Syverson of Rockford, and Bill Brady of Bloomington; and caucus chair Pam Althoff of McHenry. Each receives a stipend of $20,649.
Cullerton's team features Majority Leader James Clayborne of Belleville, assistant majority leaders John Sullivan of Rushville, Kimberly Lightford of Maywood, Terry Link of Waukegan, Tony Munoz of Chicago and Donne Trotter of Chicago; and majority chair Ira Silverstein of Chicago. They also get $20,649 stipends.