Ives argues against legislative stipends
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-IL) posted an opinion piece on her website in which she indicated the Illinois House of Representatives this spring spent nearly $1 million on stipends to 89 legislators for their work on 50 House committees.
"Three out of the 50 committees never met - not once," Ives said. "And yet, the legislator received the stipend of $10,327. On average, committees met only nine times, a cost of $1,147 per meeting. The majority of the committees met seven times or less, equal to $1,475 per meeting. This stipend comes on top of regular legislator pay of $67,836 – the fifth highest in the nation for part-time work. In Illinois that work has given taxpayers unbalanced budgets for the last 13 years and the worst credit rating in the nation."
Ives said the stipends are excessive and patronage based.
"It is difficult to see these stipends as anything other than one more Illinois patronage program," Ives said. "It matters not at all if the chairperson or spokesperson has any expertise in the subject matter considered by a committee. It matters not at all how long or often committees meet or what real work is accomplished. Illinois 2.0 is essentially Colonial America. The King’s Loyalists are rewarded handsomely."