Wheeler responds to Martwick's complaints about not getting state paycheck
State Rep. Barbara Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake, responded to Democratic colleague Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, who recently compared the state's withholding of legislators' paychecks to "extortion."
Unlike some legislators Wheeler said she is not worried about the pay she and other General Assembly members have not received in the absence of a long-term budget.
"I have no complaints," Wheeler said.
State Comptroller Leslie Munger ordered her staff to withhold lawmakers' pay until a full balanced budget is passed. The lawmakers' paychecks are being treated like state vendors' payments. This affects all elected state officials' pay, including Munger's.
While Martwick voted against policies that would benefit his constituents, such as a property tax freeze, he complained about not receiving his paycheck on time.
Martwick posted his objections on social media in early August, using fellow House member Rep. Jaime Andrade, D-Chicago, as an example of a legislator forced to take a second job to support his family. Andrade is currently supplementing his income by driving for Uber. When constituents showed little sympathy for Martwick's tirade, he refused to back down.
The backlash to Martwick's remarks included discussion of his family's connections to property tax law firms in the Chicago area. The law firms ran by Martwick, his father and House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, all profit from cases that lower property tax bills for corporate clients.
Wheeler, like the public, showed little concern for Martwick's complaints and was more concerned about the state's vendors, who must wait for their payments due to the $7.5 billion backlog of unpaid bills.
"In regard to any bills to be paid by the state, the state should be able to pay on time, and anything less is unconscionable," Wheeler said.