When A Legislator Leaves To Lobby

Aug 16, 2016

Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Even before the November election, the makeup of Illinois legislature is changing.

Late last month a Republican State Representative suddenly resigned. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove abruptly shut down his social media accounts, filed a police report, complained of cyber security issues, and was no longer a state legislator. Another House Republican, John Anthony, also stepped down this summer; he’s going to work for Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration.

It’s not *just* Republicans. A longtime Democratic State Senator, Willie Delgado, retired in June. But his was expected. Delgado wasn’t running for re-election (Sandack and Anthony were).

Those are just the latest examples.

Now, another lawmaker is leaving the General Assembly. Republican State Senator Matt Murphy of Palatine, who says he's leaving to make more money for his wife and four kids.

(Illinois lawmakers are paid a base salary of roughly $67,000. Those with leadership roles, like Murphy, make an additional $10,000-$20,000 on top of it. They also receive stipends for their travel to and from Springfield). Murphy will also continue to work as a private practice attorney.

Listen to the interview to hear Murphy talk about whether there should be a revolving door that restricts legislators from lobbying their peers, General Assembly members' pay, his accomplishments as a senator, and his plans for the future.

When asked about it Friday, Gov. Rauner said he was surprised by Murphy’s news, and called him a “great legislator.” Even if you don’t live in his district, there’s a good chance you caught Murphy quoted in the newspaper on the talk show circuit.

After taking office in 2006, Murphy became the Senate Republican’s go-to-guy on the state budget, and was heavily involved in pension negotiations.

He also narrowly missed winning the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 2010; instead, lumber yard heir Jason Plumber joined Bill Brady’s losing ticket.

Murphy will begin his new job as a lobbyist with Mac Strategies Group on September 15.