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Cloonen rejects house pay raise

Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:14 p.m. CST

BRADLEY – State Rep. Kate Cloonen, D-Kankakee, is leading by example through her decision to reject a court ordered pay increase and donate a portion of her legislative salary to a local charity.

In response to the court’s action, Cloonen also filed legislation requiring members of the 99th General Assembly to work without pay by taking 12 furlough days a year, according to a news release from Cloonen’s office.

“It is vital for the fiscal health of Illinois that the state live within its means which means eliminating waste and cutting unnecessary spending,” Cloonen said in the release. “With many working families struggling, elected officials must lead by example, which is why I have supported budgets that cut legislators’ pay, personally rejected any pay raise, and refused to participate in the General Assembly’s pension program. Accepting a pay raise is unacceptable and I will be donating the additional salary to a local charitable organization.”

Cloonen has taken furlough days that cut her pay annually. Last year, a court decision prohibited lawmakers from reducing their pay through furlough days. Because of the court’s recent action, Cloonen will be donating additional salary to charity. To prevent future confusion and ensure legislators take a pay cut, Cloonen filed House Bill 6284, which requires every member of the 99th General Assembly to forfeit one day of pay per month for the second six months of fiscal year 2016 and the first six months of fiscal year 2017.

The 79th District Cloonen represents includes, Coal City, Diamond, East Brooklyn, Gardner, and South Wilmington.

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