How Much Do Our Lawmakers Earn? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

How Much Do Our Lawmakers Earn?

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Not a single person we talked to could correctly guess how much our lawmakers actually make.

"In Illinois I think its $80,000.  In Iowa I think its $60,000," said taxpayer Terry Rodriguez.

"I would guess that Iowa lawmakers make $75,000 and  I would guess Illinois lawmakers make $100,000," said taxpayer Joe Walker.

Illinois lawmakers have a base salary of about $67,000.  Iowa lawmakers get a fraction of that; their base pay is just $25,000. Iowa Senator Rita Hart tells TV-6 the pay is fair.  

"I believe we are adequately compensated.  I think it's a big job, but I'm satisfied with the pay," said Iowa Senator Rita Hart.

Not to mention, lawmakers on both sides of the river get daily stipends for food and living expenses when they're in session.  That means there's about a $40,000 pay difference between the two states.  Steve Grubbs with Victory Enterprises says there are a few reasons why the pay disparity is so large.

 "Illinois has a full time professional legislature. Iowa has a part time citizen legislature," said Steve Grubbs.  "Iowa lawmakers will go home, run their companies, farms, teach and then for four months they go and make laws.  In Illinois, they are politicians year round and so they get paid for it."