$13,118

That’s how much more money the governor is putting in his pocket by refusing to excise the pay raises included in the budget bill the legislature sent to him.

Of course, that money will eventually end up in a defense lawyer’s pocket, but that just makes it worse.

*

“[T]he governor faced blowback for his decision to leave a 3.8 percent cost of living adjustment intact while cutting hundreds of other programs, including those relied upon by the developmentally disabled, autistic children, the elderly and battered women,” Dave McKinney writes in a Sun-Times story apparently not available online.

The Blagovevich administration says it had no choice but to leave the pay raises alone because of state statute, but McKinney points out that in 2003 Blagojevich said “In these difficult times, when state agencies are being consolidated, when the number of state personnel is being reduced – in short, when others are being asked to sacrifice – this is not the time to give pay raises to the governor, lieutenant governor, to the constitutional officers, to the men and women of the General Assembly, or to the Supreme Court or Circuit Court judges.”

The judges eventually got their raises thanks to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling, but Blagojevich’s veto for everyone else stood.

*

By the way, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – the subject of this Division Street post – changed his mind again and vetoed raises for the legislator there.

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