Do our legislators double-dip for pay?

Published7/22/2008 12:06 AM

I didn't hear the predicate for it, but on Friday, a local radio station played a clip of Gov. Blagojevich making critical remarks about members of the Illinois state Legislature who hold other public jobs.

I suspect it had to do with the pay raise the legislators are enacting for themselves.


In highlighting the practice of "double-dipping," the governor may have, for once, actually provided a public service.

I've expressed my anger several times about the amount of money legislators take from us for their part-time jobs.

So many amongst us would be grateful if our full-time jobs paid as well -- a proposed 7.5 percent increase would take base salaries for legislators up to $72,985 while those in leadership roles would earn $100,000 plus for their part-time work.

Beyond that, my anger has increased because those taking raises simply don't deserve any compensation on the basis of their job performance -- which, by any measure, has been awful.

Your paper would do everyone a service if it created a list of all state legislators that included each legislator's total compensation for their work (if it can be called that) in the state legislature and the job titles and total compensation that these same legislators derive from other public employment.

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Further, it would be apt to document what happens when those with other public employment absent themselves from those jobs to attend sessions or committee meetings of the state legislature.

Do they take "vacation days" from their other jobs? Do they take "leave without pay?"

Or are they increasing the size of the double-dip by taking pay for work that goes undone in their other public employment?

The public has a right to know.

Charles F. Falk


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