Measure would end lawmaker “exit bonus” pay

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A new measure proposed by Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza would end the practice of legislators who resign their seats in the General Assembly being paid for days they haven’t worked.

According to a press release from the Comptroller’s Office, Mendoza’s plan was prompted by recent cases involving State Sen. Martin Sandoval and State Rep. Luis Arroyo – each of whom is under federal investigation – who resigned their seats on the first day of the month but still received paychecks for the entire month. The practice is currently allowed under state law.

Under the proposal, lawmakers who resign before completing their entire term in office would be compensated on a prorated basis – meaning they would be paid based on the number of days they work in the Legislature. The same rule would apply to lawmakers appointed to complete the term of a vacancy.

In addition, legislators would be paid twice a month, just like all other state employees and constitutional officers. Currently, legislators are paid once a month.

The Illinois Office of Comptroller issues paychecks to lawmakers, state employees, and constitutional officers.

In some cases, taxpayers have been on the hook for two lawmaker salaries for the same position. Not only did the outgoing lawmaker get a check for a full month’s salary, but their replacement did also as well – even if the replacement began at the end of the month.