Sen. Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD – The temporary appointees who fill vacant seats in the General Assembly and often serve on committees which never meet in the interim period should not be paid an extra stipend, said State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), who passed legislation to that effect on Thursday.

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, Senate Bill 112, prohibits short-term appointed lawmakers from receiving taxpayer-funded stipends. It would apply to any member of the General Assembly who is appointed to the House of Representatives or Senate after May 31 of an even-numbered year, and prohibit them from receiving additional salary for service as a chairman or minority spokesman.

“Handing out careless taxpayer-funded stipends is an obvious abuse of vital state funds,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We cannot afford to waste a single dime in our state’s budget. Tax dollars should be directed toward funding vital programs, not lining the pockets of political insiders.”

Bertino-Tarrant was astounded at news that an appointment made to fill a short-term gap for an outgoing senator not only received full pay, but also an extra stipend to serve on a committee that had no meetings scheduled.

“It’s imperative that the legislature work in a bipartisan manner to end financial waste and abuse,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to root out all forms of political insider deals to send a message to those attempting to take advantage of Illinois taxpayers.”

Senate Bill 112 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House for consideration.

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