CHICAGO (WBBM) — A free market think tank says pay for Illinois state workers has far outpaced private sector pay over the last 15 years and should be reduced as part of any serious efforts to balance the budget.

Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute, says the average state worker now receives $69,500 in total compensation versus $56,000 for private sector workers — a pay advantage for state workers of nearly $14,000.

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Dabrowski says the Institutes research shows State of Illinois truck drivers receive $67,000 versus $40,000 for private sector truck drivers: a pay advantage of 65% for the state truck driver.

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And Dabrowski says over a 40-year careers, the public sector worker will get 510 more days off than the private sector equivalent.