Melinda Hult, Republican candidate for State Representative announced today that if elected, she would take a 10% pay cut in addition to sponsoring legislation to allow elected officials to “opt-in” and give back 10% of their own pay. Hult’s individual pay cut would save taxpayers $6,783.60 annually. The base pay for the Illinois legislature is $67,836.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute, Illinois state representatives and senators receive the fifth highest paid salary in the country. Only California, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan pay their legislators more than Illinois. The salary of Hult’s opponent, career politician Jay Hoffman, increased 106% during the two decades he served in the Illinois House from 1991-2011. Hoffman’s salary was $37,230 in 1991 compared to $67,836 when he left office in 2011.
“With Illinois’ debt estimated at over $120 billion, elected officials must get serious about cutting back in tough times,” said Hult. “A positive first step would be to cut legislators’ salaries 10% followed by a line-by-line audit of each state agency to identify wasteful spending. Springfield politicians should be discussing a pay cut and state audit instead of defending job-killing tax increases.”
On Melinda Hult’s first day in office, she will take a 10% pay cut in addition to sponsoring legislation to grant statewide office holders, county wide officials and county boards throughout Illinois the same authority to reduce their own salaries. Under current state law, elected officials do not have the ability to make changes to their salary during their term in office. Hult’s legislation would allow elected officials to opt-in during their next term in office and give back 10% of their salary. The legislation would also create a statewide reporting system database so that voters and the media may hold their elected officials accountable by monitoring to see which elected officials have vowed to take a pay cut.
Regardless of the legislation’s outcome, Melinda Hult will take a 10% pay cut on her first day in office. In May, Hult returned her pay raise as alderman on the Bellville City Council by donating her pay raise to the Belleville police and fire department.