Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), pictured in this November file photo, decried the possible loss of her legislative paycheck because of Gov. Pat Quinn’s move to cut lawmakers’ pay Wednesday. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
SPRINGFIELD-State Sen. Iris Martinez is one of several Illinois lawmakers who rely upon a monthly paycheck from the General Assembly without any outside income.
So for her, Gov. Pat Quinn’s move to stop paying legislators’ salaries until a pension-reform impasse is resolved carries a potentially difficult bite and is an approach with which she disagrees.
“For a lot of us, myself, this is my only job. And I have a mortgage. I have a car,” Martinez (D-Chicago) told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It puts me in a little bit of a situation. It’s almost saying I’m without a job,” said Martinez, a single mother who makes $74,569 annually as majority caucus whip under Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).
Martinez, nonetheless, doesn’t regard Quinn’s action as punishment against her or others.
“I understand the frustration. We do have a serious, serious pension issue. We recognize that. We have done our part in the Senate to address these issues. But I really believe that this is not the way we need to work with each other, in this kind of fashion, with this being thrown out there,” she said.
“It’s not something that should’ve happened, but our governor will do what he has to do because he’s the governor,” she said. “He just has to remember he has allies in many of us, and know at least the Senate has done its work.”