McSweeney Cutting Salary, Office Expenses by 10%

A press release from State Rep. David McSweeney:

McSweeney Saves Taxpayer Money

Voluntarily Returns a Portion of His Legislative Pay and Office Allotment

CARY – State Representative David McSweeney (R-Cary) says when it comes to the state budget crisis, he believes government officials should lead by example.

That is why he is again voluntarily cutting his legislative salary and district office budget by 10 percent and returning the money back to the state.

David McSweeney

David McSweeney

“While many families are making cuts to stay within their budget, our elected officials have a responsibility to reduce their official expenditures” said McSweeney.

An Illinois Representative’s salary and district office allotment are $67,836 and $69,409 respectively. With McSweeney’s salary reimbursement action last week, both will be reduced to 90% of those initial figures for calendar year 2014 with the salary number adjusted for taxes paid.

McSweeney also plans to cut his calendar year 2015 and 2016 salary and office budget by 10%. Those reductions come in addition to his initial action of voluntarily opting out of the State’s General Assembly Retirement Pension System. McSweeney will not receive a legislative pension.

McSweeney continued, “I’ve said from day one, government officials must lead by example in stabilizing our State’s finances. The bottom line is that Illinois is in a financial crisis and business as usual isn’t working.”

For more information or to contact our legislative office visit


McSweeney Cutting Salary, Office Expenses by 10% — 5 Comments

  1. I applaud him but wish they would lower McHenry county property taxes by 10% so people could have relief.

  2. **Thank you for leading by example! **

    Lead by example?

    I guess, if by that, you mean that all reps should be super rich so that they can afford to give up income without thinking twice about it.

  3. Karma, property taxes are set at the local level, although the state can affect these through unfunded mandates.

    I hope you understand that the issues of taxation and the size and scope of the government are inherently linked together.

    If you keep voting for people who want to regulate cupcake bake sales or create sixty new unfunded mandates for schools over the course of two years then prepare to pay 10 percent more, not less.

  4. Depending on how many years he is in the Illinois General Assembly (or any other job for which he could receive an Illinois public sector pension), the biggest taxpayer savings may turn out to be McSweeney not receiving a legislative pension.

    Pensions are the biggest taxpayer fiscal concern in Illinois government.

    So it’s helpful to education oneself about pensions.

    The seminal event in the Illinois pension crisis was one sentence added to the Illinois State Constitution in 1970.

    The sentence stated pensions cannot be diminished or impaired.

    At face value may seem reasonable.

    The workers should get their pension.

    However something very insidious occurred.

    If pension benefit levels in 1970 were frozen and could not be hiked, the pension sentence added to the constitution still would not be a good idea (Social Security is not guaranteed in the US Constitution), but at least it would have been manageable.

    However, pension benefit levels were not frozen.

    Rather, pension benefit levels were hiked just about every year from 1971 – 2011.

    And, each increased benefit cannot be diminished or impaired.

    See how that works.

    You can add as many pension benefits as you can get past the Illinois General Assembly and Governor.

    But once you add them, if they become unaffordable (or is someone figures out they were unfordable from the start, which the hikes were), the hiked benefits cannot be reset.

    Notably, each benefit hike does not have to be properly funded, thereby there’s little to no impact on the current year budget.

    Each benefit hike can use bogus actuarial assumptions.

    So if you are a legislator or governor, hiking pension benefits is a great way to get votes.

    Public sector workers and elected officials provide State legislators and Governors with campaign contributions, electioneering assistance, and votes, and in return the state legislators and Governors hike pension benefits, and retiree healthcare benefits, for public sector workers and elected officials.

    So what began as making sure that existing pensions were paid, has resulted in massively hiked pension

    Furthermore, funding was diverted from hiking pensions to hiking salaries, and hiking salaries hikes pensions, resulting in ever more pension fund contributions from the government.

    Restated, the pension sentence added to the state constitution emboldened legislators and Governors to hike pension benefits and furthermore not provide funding for the hikes because all pension benefit hikes were guaranteed in the Illinois State Constitution to not be diminished or impaired.

    The ultimate carrot for legislators and Governors to dangle in front of special interest campaign contributors, namely public sector unions, most government employees, and most elected officials such, you vote for me, I pass pension and retiree healthcare benefit hikes.

    Illinois is the most heavily unionized state workforce in the United States, with over 90% of state workers belonging to a union.

    The ultimate carrot because the hikes are guaranteed in the constitution, yet because the hikes do not have to be funded in many cases, the hikes typically had minimal impact on the current year budget.

    And in the case where the hikes had to be funded, that being the IMRF pension fund, state legislators and Governors still hiked those benefits, because although state legislators and governors determine IMRF pension benefits, the funding comes from local taxing districts such as counties, municipalities, park districts, library districts, etc.

    So state legislators and governors were perfectly fine with hiking IMRF, police, and fire benefits too.

    More votes for state legislators and governors with little to no impact to state legislator and governor budgets.

    Note police do not have their own taxing district, they fall under municipal or county taxing districts.

    Fire on the other hand is typically its own unique taxing district.

    Some taxing districts offer the IMRF pension fund to police and fire, whereas other taxing districts offer an Illinois Pension Code Article 3 Police Pension or Article 4 Fire Pension.

    Promise now, fund later, although we have no clue where the funding will come from.

    And to make matters worse, this was not explained to the voters.

    And to make matters even worse, this happened almost every year from 1971 thru 2014.

    So it is noteworthy to understand the process that resulted in the sentence which allowed unlimited pension benefit hikes.

    Sixth Constitutional Convention Timeline:

    June 30th, 1965: Illinois General Assembly creates Constitutional Study Commission.

    1965: House Bill 1911, process for altering State Constitution.

    January 4, 1967: In his State of the State address, Governor Otto Kerner recommends a Constitutional Convention.

    May 1967: Senate Joint Resolution 2, 75th Illinois General Assembly, passes both houses, placing a question on the November 1968 ballot as to whether a Constitutional Convention should be held.

    February 1968: Governor Kerner creates the Illinois Committee for Constitutional Convention.

    November 5, 1968: Question on ballot, “For the Calling of a Constitutional Convention” passes. 4.7 million people voted in that election, the measure received 2.9 million yes, 1.1 million no.

    1968: Election for delegates to the Constitutional Convention, two per Senate district, a total of 116 delegates. Thus the Constitutional Convention itself was outside the legislative process and the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor. Some delegates did go on to political careers such as Michael J Madigan, Richard M Daley, and Dawn Clark Netsch.

    September 23, 1969: Delegate primary election. Vote for 4 candidates in each of the 58 Senate districts.

    November 18, 1969: Delegate general election. Vote for 2 candidates in each of the 58 Senate districts.

    December 8, 1969: Constitutional Convention convenes (begins) in Springfield.

    July 21, 1970: Vote on whether to add the pension sentence to the constitution. Ayes 57, Nays 36, Pass 6, Present 3.

    Those voting in the affirmative were:

    Armstrong; Arrigo; Brown; Buford; Carey; Coleman; Cooper; Downen; Dunn; Evans; Fennoy; Friedrich; Gertz; Gierach; Green; Hendren; Howard; Hunter; Jaskula; Jenison; Johnsen; Kemp; Kinney; Klaus; Knuppel; Laurino; Lawlor; Leahy; Lennon, A.; Lennon, W.; Leon; Lyons; Madigan; Marolda; McCracken; Miska; Netsch; Nicholson; Nudelman; Ozinga; Pappas; Parker, C.; Patch; Peccarelli; Pechous; Peterson; Pughsley; Raby; Rachunas; Reum; Rigney; Rosewell; Smith, R.; Thompson; Tomei; Witwer; Zeglis [Lots of past and future legislators, plus their relatives, voting for the proposal. I’ve put in boldface the ones I, Cal, recognize.]

    Those voting in the negative were:

    Anderson; Borek; Bottino; Butler; Canfield; Connor; Davis; Dove; Elward; Foster; Johnson; Kamin; Karns; Keegan; Ladd; Lewis; Macdonald; Martin; Mathias; Meek; Miller; Mullen; Parkhurst; Scott; Shuman; Smith, E.; Sommerschield; Tecson; Weisberg; Wenum; Whalen; Willer; Wilson; Woods; Wymore; Yordy [Johnson Ladd, Mullen, Wymore represented McHenry County.]

    Those voting “pass”:
    Kelley; Kenney; Orlando; Stahl; Stemberk; Strunck

    Those voting “present”:
    Alexander; Cicero; Fogal

    September 3, 1970: Constitutional Convention adopts the proposed changes.

    November 3, 1970: Illinois General Election. Nothing on the ballot about the Constitutional Convention.

    December 15, 1970: Special statewide referendum election about the proposed revisions to the State Constitution. Referendum passed. 1,122,425 yes and 838,168 no votes, 1,960,593 total votes. 37% voter turnout. 57% approved. Different sources have slightly different figures, the end result was it passed.

    July 1, 1971: Effective date of the revamped Constitution.

    Here is the sentence about pensions that was added to the State Constitution.

    It’s commonly referred to as the pension protection clause.

    That sounds better than Clause to Protect Pension Hikes.

    Or clause that allows legislators and Governors to play Santa Claus.

    Illinois State Constitution
    Article XIII – General Provisions
    Section 5. Pension and Retirement Rights

    Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.

    That’s it.

    One sentence.

    The changes at the Constitutional Convention were not made via the legislative process in the Illinois General Assembly.

    Here are the elected delegates to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention, two per Senate District.

    1st District: Samuel W. Witwer, Frank Cicero, Jr.
    2nd District: Thomas J. McCracken, Lucy Reum
    3rd District: Virginia B. Macdonald, John G. Woods
    4th District: Anne H. Evans, Clyde Parker
    5th District: John E. Dvorak, Anne Willer
    6th District: James E. Gierach, Martin Ozinga, Jr.
    7th District: Roy C. Pechous, Joseph A. Tecson
    8th District: Ray H. Garrison, Thomas H. Miller
    9th District: Joan G. Anderson, Joseph T. Meek
    10th District: Paul F. Elward, Peter Andrew Tomei
    11th District: Martin Tuchow, Bernard Weisberg
    12th District: Malcolm S. Kamin, Dawn Clark Netsch
    13th District: Elmer Gertz, Ronald C. Smith
    14th District: William J. Laurino, John F. Leon
    15th District: Thomas G. Lyons, David E. Stahl
    16th District: William F. Lennon, James E. Strunck
    17th District: Harold M. Nudelman, Frank Orlando
    18th District: Leonard N. Foster, Edward J. Rosewell
    19th District: William A. Jaskula, Joseph C. Sharpe, Sr.
    20th District: Victor A. Arrigo, Madison L. Brown
    21st District: Gloria S. Pughsley, Frank D. Stemberk
    22nd District: James H. Kemp, Samuel A. Patch
    23rd District: Richard M.Daley, Leonard F. Miska
    24th District: Odas Nicholson, Albert A. Raby
    25th District: Francis X. Lawlor, Louis Marolda
    26th District: Thomas E. Hunter, Clifford P. Kelley
    27th District: Michael J. Madigan, Joseph V. Rachunas
    28th District: Ted A. Borek, Philip J. Carey
    29th District: Charles A. Coleman, Richard K. Cooper
    30th District: Mary Lee Leahy, David Linn
    31st District: Mary A. Pappas, John D. Wenum
    32nd District: Jeffrey R. Ladd, Jeannette Mullen
    33rd District: Stanley C. Johnson, Maxme Danner Wymore

    34th District: Robert R. Canfield, Betty Ann Southwick Keegan
    35th District: Harlan H. Rigney, Wayne W. Whalen
    36th District: Louis J. Perona, Edwin F. Peterson
    37th District: David Davis, Paul E. Mathias
    38th District: James S. Brannen, Betty Howard
    39th District: Thomas C. Kelleghan, William A. Sommerschield
    40th District: Helen C. Kinney, Anthony M. Pcccarelli
    41st District: Louis F. Bottino, Arthur T. Lennon
    42nd District: John Linebaugh Knuppel, James S. Thompson
    43rd District: William R. Armstrong, Lewis D. Wilson
    44th District: Edward H. Jenison, Charles R. Young
    45th District: David E. Connor, John C. Parkhurst
    46th District: Samuel L. Martin, Donald D. Zcglis
    47th District: Henry I. Green, Charles W. Shuman
    48th District: William D. Fogal, Clarence E. Vordy
    49th District: William L. Fay, Maurice W. Scott
    50th District: Franklin Edward Dove, Elbert S. Smith
    51st District: Dwight P. Friedrich, James Stuart Parker
    52nd District: John Alexander, Stanley L. Klaus
    53rd District: Wendell Durr, Ray V. Johnsen
    54th District: William F. Fennoy, Jr., John M. Karns, Jr.
    55th District: J.L. Buford, Henry Carter Hendren, Jr.
    56th District: Ralph A. Dunn, David Kenney
    57th District: Robert L. Butler, Clifford L. Downen
    58th District: Matthew A. Hutmacher, George J. Lewis

    Part of McHenry County was in the 32nd District, and the other part was in the 33rd District.

    32nd District: part of McHenry and part of Lake

    33rd District: part of McHenry, Boone, part of Winnebago, DeKalb, part of Kane, part of Kendall
    Jeffrey R Ladd, 32nd: Crystal Lake resident.
    Jeannette Mullen, 32nd: Barrington Resident.
    Stanley C. Johnson, 33rd District: DeKalb Resident
    Maxme Danner Wymore, 33rd District: Hampshire resident


    Record of the Proceedings, Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention, Daily Journals, December 8, 1969 – September 3, 1970, published by Illinois Secretary of State.

    The 1970 Constitution is the 4th re-write.

    The others being 1818, 1848 and 1870.

    Since 1970 was the sixth Constitutional Convention, voters rejected other re-writes, including 1922.

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