Illinois House approves 15% raise for state agency directors

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The incoming Illinois governor would be able to offer his cabinet members 15 percent more in salary under a plan that the House has approved.

The House voted 68-37 Tuesday to increase annual pay for the director of prisons, the transportation secretary and the directors of other agencies governing human services, health care, the environment and more.

Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker says Illinois salaries for agency directors and assistant directors aren’t competitive. The legislation would increase the highest salaries to $172,500 from $150,000.

Critics complained that nonunion middle managers have dealt with salary freezes for 15 or more years. They say the state can’t afford higher pay when there’s a $130 billion hole in what the state owes to its pension systems.

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