Credit Union Offers Loan To Lawmakers

Jul 29, 2013

Credit state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers will not be getting their monthly paycheck, starting next week. At least one financial institution is offering to help tide them over until the General Assembly's dispute with the Governor is resolved.  Lawmakers' base salary of $68,000 has been set to zero - Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed their pay out of the budget as a sort of punishment for the General Assembly not passing a pension overhaul.

Credit Union 1 is a not-for-profit membership cooperative, and it's open to any employee of the state of Illinois which includes the legislators in the state of Illinois.

President Paul Simons --- who says given the special circumstance, legislators who are members of the credit union can get a 60-day loan worth half their salary ... for zero interest.

"We don’t advertise. We wouldn't take out newspaper ads or put it on our website or anything. Believe me-- the word spread pretty fast," Simons said.

Legislators who aren't members of the credit union can join and get a loan, but it won't be interest free.

In this case, politicians aren't getting special treatment - Simons says similar arrangements have been offered to state workers during past budget disputes or to union members when there's a labor strike.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.