Credit Union Offers Lawmakers Zero Interest Loans

Jul 29, 2013

Illinois legislators were supposed to get their next monthly paycheck on Thursday, August 1st.  But Governor Pat Quinn vetoed their salaries out of the budget.  Amanda Vinicky reports on how lawmakers may be able to get by.

Many legislators won't feel the pinch too deeply.

Serving in the General Assembly is technically a part-time occupation ... and many own businesses, are partners at law firms, or have other government jobs.  

But many don't, and are their family's sole breadwinner.

For them - living without a paycheck may be a true hardship.  At least one financial institution - Credit Union 1, based in Rantoul - says it'll help.  President Paul Simons says the credit union will give legislators who are members zero-interest loans worth half their paychecks. 

"Obviously we don’t want to get into the middle of any dispute between the Governor and the legislators, our intent is just to take care of our members."

Simons says legislators aren't getting special treatment  - the credit union's done it since the early '90s, for striking union members, and state employees.

He says it was in place when it looked like state workers wouldn't get paid in 2007 when a previous General Assembly and Governor were feuding over state spending, though a budget passed before it got to that point.

There's no easy way to tell when or how legislators' nearly $68,000 salaries will be restored -- Quinn says it'll be after they pass a pension overhaul.

I'm Amanda Vinicky.