Metro East Sun

Metro East Sun

Friday, December 13, 2019

Former senators' lawsuit for back pay 'disgusting and shameful,' former Rep. Kay says


By Glenn Minnis | Oct 11, 2019

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Former Illinois state Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Edwardsville)

Former Illinois state Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Edwardsville) has no trouble understanding why Illinois is experiencing such a degree of fiscal turmoil.

“What these two guys are doing right now to me is indicative of the fact they went there for themselves in the first place,” Kay told the Metro East Sun of the lawsuit that a pair of former Illinois lawmakers have filed against the state seeking to cash in on pay raises that the General Assembly voted against in the best interest of the cash-strapped state. “These two guys, both of whom have benefited from government positions for years, just want to be greedy. The General Assembly made a decision and I think we all should have to abide by it.”

Former Sens. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and James Clayborne (D-Belleville), both men Kay knows from the six-years he spent in Springfield representing the 112th District up until 2017, have filed suit seeking millions in back pay for themselves and "all others impacted," based on the wage-freeze that was in effect back then. 

Former Senate Democrats James Clayborne (left) and Michael Noland (right)

Clayborne, who was also tabbed as Senate Majority Leader, served in Springfield for 25 years. His former 57th District base is located in the Metro East region and includes all or parts of Belleville, Freeburg, East St. Louis, O'Fallon, Madison, Fairview Heights, Shiloh and Scott Air Force Base. 

The two men's suit picked up steam earlier this summer when a Cook County Judge asserted that the wage-freeze legislation they supported during their time as lawmakers violated the state constitution’s prohibition against lawmakers changing their pay in their current terms.

In Kay’s mind, the case is one that should be more about honor.

“There’s one word that sums it up in my mind and that’s shameful,” Kay said. “It’s disgusting and shameful. When the majority of the body votes not to take something, that’s exactly what they planned to do. There are not enough words to explain the ire I have for men like this.”

In the end, Kay said he hopes the legal system will do its job by imposing what he thinks was clearly the will of the people.

“The 118 people in the House and people in the Senate should overcome two people that want to be greedy,” he said.

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