Frerichs will donate pay raise

Frerichs will donate pay raise

CHAMPAIGN — State Sen. Mike Frerichs of Champaign, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, today became at least the second lawmaker to say that he would not accept a de facto legislative pay raise contained in the state budget approved last week.

The 2014-15 spending plan approved by the General Assembly last week did not contain the 12 furlough days per year, essentially a pay cut, that had been approved by lawmakers in the five prior budget years.

Frerichs said the raise would amount to about $3,100 a year.

He said lawmakers are paid monthly and that for the first month he would donate his pay increase to the Gifford Tornado Relief Fund.

"I voted last week for a state budget for the 2015 budget year that preserves vital funding for schools, health care, social services and the right priorities for Illinois. Unfortunately, that budget also ended furlough days for legislators that we have taken for a number of years now," Frerichs said in a statement.

"That is absolutely the wrong message to send Illinoisans right now. I will not accept this pay increase and will donate those funds to charity, including the ongoing recovery efforts for tornado victims in my hometown of Gifford. Skipping this pay increase is a small, but important gesture that I understand we must do better for the people of Illinois and I hope my colleagues in Springfield will follow my lead."

State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, Wednesday became the first state lawmaker to turn down the raise.

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