Editor's note: The following is taken in part by a press release issued by the campaign of Garrett Peck.
State Senate candidate Garrett Peck on Thursday issued a press release calling for a legislative pay freeze.
Peck, who is running against Will County Regional Superintendent of Schools Jennifer-Bertino Tarrant for the new 49th District seat, is advocating a freeze of salary and benefits until the state's debt crisis is solved.
“I don’t think I could look my constituents in the eye if I took pay increases out of their pockets, while Illinois families are struggling to pay the bills,” Peck said in a press release. “What kind of example is that to set, when politicians can’t pay vendors and providers, but take a pay increase? It’s unconscionable.”
He also proposed that state lawmakers take a 10 percent pay reduction — sharing a stance held by 98th District House of Representatives candidate Natalie Manley, who also called for 10 percent pay cut last week.
Manley is going up against Fountaindale Library District trustee Bob Kalnicky in the November election.
“Look, being a state senator was never meant to be a full-time job," Peck continued in a statement. "It’s a part-time job with full-time duties.
"We need to show our constituents that we are willing to make the spending cuts and sacrifices necessary to eliminate the state deficit and roll back the Democrats’ 67 percent income tax increase. My goal is to bring the state back to solvency, while promoting more effective, efficient government — and ultimately enable taxpayers to keep more of their take home pay.”
Peck called on his opponent to join him in pledging to reject any increases in legislative pay and benefits, while calling for a 10 percent reduction in legislative salaries.
Peck vowed to propose "bold solutions" to solve the state's debt crisis and make Illinois economically viable once again.
“Illinois has the worst credit rating in the country," he said. "In addition to a mountain of debt, we have at least $120 billion in unfunded pension liabilities Reducing legislative pay demonstrates lawmakers are serious about fixing the state’s financial problems. In order to regain the public’s trust, we must lead by example.”