051915 js 0211.resizeSPRINGFIELD- The members of the Illinois General Assembly will not receive a pay increase again this year thanks to a new law sponsored by Villa Park Democrat, Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton sponsored House Bill 643, which stops automatic increase in mileage reimbursements and per diem rates, was signed into law this week.

“It is inexcusable for legislators to receive a pay increase at a time our schools don’t know if they will open in time this fall,” Cullerton said. “I’m here to serve the people of the 23rd District. Public service means advocating and standing up for the needs of our communities; I intend to do just that.”

Cullerton voted to cut his pay every year he has been in the General Assembly.  

House Bill 643 freezes the Illinois General Assembly's mileage reimbursement and per diem rates for the upcoming year. If the measure was not signed into law the daily cost of the special session starting this week would have ballooned to nearly $62,000 per day.

In addition, the initiative eliminates the planned FY 18 cost of living adjustment for the members of the legislature and other offices set by the Compensation Review Board. The Comptroller's Office states that the FY 18 cost of living adjustment would be 2.1% without the passage of a freeze.

“This commonsense measure will help us direct state dollars where they are needed,” Cullerton said. “Now if only the governor would sign Senate Bill 3, our bipartisan government consolidation model. Streamlining government services will not only save valuable taxpayer dollars but also make sure the people of Illinois are receiving the best service possible.”

Cullerton sent the governor Senate Bill 3 over a month ago.

Illinois has more than 7,000 governments that are often duplicative and outdated. His monumental initiative will allow those units to be consolidated and eliminated. This legislation would enable Illinois to consolidate more units of government than any other state in the nation.

“This one small step will improve government services and lower property taxes without making a sacrifice in services received,” Cullerton said. “Every day Governor Rauner waits, is a lost opportunity to guarantee government is evolving with the needs of the people. The time to act is now. The people of Illinois cannot afford to continue to wait.”

House Bill 643 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.