Bryant Issues Statement on Present Vote on HB 4290

Bryant Issues Statement on ‘Present’ Vote on HB 4290
Springfield…State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) released the following statement following the successful attempt by State Representative Jerry Costello II to pass legislation to pay the remaining 55% of ‘back pay’ owed to State of Illinois AFSCME employees.
“I support paying AFSCME workers the back pay that they are owed. HB 4290 would accomplish that goal. The back pay for AFSCME employees is the State of Illinois’ oldest unpaid bill. The budget action taken in July 2017 has resulted in the lessening of Illinois’ bill backlog and the interest that the taxpayers were being charged. This bill represents a continuation of the effort to lessen our pile of unpaid bills.
The public should be aware that AFSCME workers were promised these funds as part of the FY 12 State budget and the AFSCME contract. Later, an Illinois court decided in 2017 that AFSCME employees could not receive the back pay and interest they are owed unless the General Assembly provides an appropriation line item in the State budget. I am happy for State employees that this measure is moving forward.
State laws and ethical guidelines do not allow for me to vote in the affirmative for a bill that would result in my own monetary gain. HB 4290 would in fact result in me receiving back pay because of my previous employment.
The Comptroller has publicly indicated she will process the back pay as soon as an appropriation is made by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor. I regret that I could not cast a vote for this legislation, but a Present vote is the only legally and ethically acceptable vote considering my personal circumstances.”