No budget. But State Rep. Welch wins fight to make sure he, legislators still get their paychecks
Illinois social service providers and other state vendors are still waiting to get paid.
But thanks to State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside), state legislators and other state elected officials will get their paychecks today.
Welch has prevailed in a lawsuit he filed in Cook County Circuit Court against the State of Illinois, demanding he and other state legislators be prioritized for state payment, even though the state has no budget. Judge Rodolfo Garcia issued the ruling on Thursday.
With the help of Michael J. Kasper, longtime counsel to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), he sued last December, along with a group of fellow Democrat legislators.
Last year, Judge Garcia rejected a similar lawsuit by 100 social service providers, demanding the state pay them as well.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to do this," Welch told Capitol Fax, a Springfield-based state government newsletter. "But we had to stand up for ourselves."
Deputy Governor and former Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger issued a statement calling Welch's lawsuit "the ultimate act of self-interest" and calling on current comptroller Susana Mendoza to appeal the ruling.
Democrat state representatives Silvana Tabares (D-Chicago), Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) and former state representative Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee) also joined Welch's suit.
Illinois legislators earn $67,836 per year, higher than Wisconsin ($50,950), Missouri ($35,915), Indiana ($24,671) and Iowa ($25,000) but lower than Michigan ($71,685).
Welch is a part-time legislator; he also works as a partner in a Chicago plaintiff's law firm, Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman.