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Judge awards back pay to former Illinois lawmakers who rejected raises

Judge awards back pay to former Illinois lawmakers who rejected raises

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Statehouse, meta, Springfield, capitol

The Illinois Statehouse is shown in May 2020.

CHICAGO — Two former Illinois state lawmakers who argued that a freeze on raises violated the state Constitution can collect back pay, a judge said.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza pledged to appeal the decision and called the former lawmakers "shameless grifters" pursuing a "brazen money grab."

Michael Noland of Elgin and James Clayborne of Belleville sued, arguing that laws freezing General Assembly salaries from 2009 to 2016 were illegal because lawmakers are barred from changing their pay during a current term.

Lawmakers typically would receive annual inflation raises.

Cook County Judge Allen Price Walker said Noland and Clayborne, both Democrats, didn't wait too long to sue. The decision Thursday only applies to them, not other lawmakers who were in office, because they filed the lawsuit as individuals, not public officials, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Noland could get about $71,000 while Clayborne is in line for $95,000.

Ironically, Clayborne voted in favor of turning down the raises. Noland only voted against the legislation once, the Tribune reported.


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