Democrats pass $2.3 billion in pay raises for selected provider groups without budget to pay for it

SPRINGFIELD – On the day the Democrats triedto pass a budget with a looming $7 billion projected deficit, Democrat lawmakers also passed a 40 percent pay raise to employees of the Community Care Program and certain Developmentally Disabled facilities.

“No one doubts the important role these workers play in providing quality healthcare,” said State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). “But at a time when other human service providers are being cut, payments are being severely delayed to providers, and higher education is being devastated, how can we afford $1.3 billion in increased spending liability over the next four years?”

House Bill 5764 would raise the minimum rate paid for employees from $18 per hour to $25 per hour for Community Care Program workers, and from $9.25 per hour to $15 per hour for Developmentally Disabled caregivers.

While Senate Democrat proponents of the legislation argued that these employees have not received pay increases since 2006, Senator Syverson noted he and many of his Republican colleagues have been bringing that issue up for 10 years, but without a budget in place, there is no money to pay these wages.

“Since 2006, the Democrat majority and the Democrat Governors implemented the largest tax increase in history, increased budget spending by nearly $10 billion, gave large pay increases to state employees, and started and expanded many state programs,” said Sen. Syverson. “However, during that time they refused to support any wage increases for private human services providers.”

Sen. Syverson also pointed out that these measures are unfortunately just two of a number of new spending bills passed during the last 48 hours of the regular session.

“Now facing a record spending shortfall, the Democrats choose to pass these large pay increases knowing that the governor will have no choice but to veto,” said Sen. Syverson. “This is a cheap political move so that Democrats can send out press releases announcing these pay increases that can’t be paid for. This will do nothing but give false hope to some very hard working people.”

Dave Syverson

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