Metro East lawmaker rejects paycheck until Illinois budget crisis resolved

RED BUD — As lawmakers continue to negotiate a final state budget, state Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Smithton, pledged not to accept his legislative salary until a compromise is reached.

Rep. Jerry Costello (Source: ILGA)
Rep. Jerry Costello
(Source: ILGA)

“We cannot effectively protect our most vulnerable citizens, middle-class families and state workers without a budget in place,” Costello said. “Until a compromise can be reached, I will stand with my constituents who are also affected by this impasse by refusing to accept my salary.”

Costello sent a request to Comptroller Leslie Munger to remove him from the state’s direct deposit system. Costello requested instead to receive paper checks, which he will not deposit until the budget crisis is resolved.

Last week, Costello voted for a temporary one-month budget extension plan to protect the most critical state programs. The measure would have preserved services for the disabled, elderly and children, continued GPS monitoring of sexual predators, provided care for veterans, and paid state police troopers and correctional officers. Despite his vote for the one-month budget extension, the measure ultimately failed.

Costello says when he talks with constituents, many of them share their frustration with Springfield and he says he can’t blame them, commenting that it’s time for elected officials to put aside their partisan differences and do what is right for the people of Illinois and until that time he will refuse to take a paycheck.