Chicago (CBS) — Illinois’ incoming billionaire governor, J.B. Pritzker, is reaching into his own pocket to ensure his top staffers will be paid top dollar. It’s the first example of Pritzker’s huge wealth impacting how government functions.
When former state comptroller Dan Hynes goes to work Monday as deputy governor for J.B. Pritzker, he’ll find a little something extra in his paycheck. In fact, it will be a lot extra.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Full List Of Mass Vaccination Sites With More To Open Thursday; 2,104 New Coronavirus Cases, 44 More Deaths
Hynes’ state salary of $139,000 will be doubled with another $139,000 provided directly by Pritzker, out of his own pocket. That will bring Hynes’ total pay to $278,000 a year.
Pritzker says he’s taking this step to recruit the “top talent to state government to best address the challenges Illinois faces.”
Hynes won’t be the only one to benefit.
Pritzker’s other deputy governors Jesse Ruiz and Christian Mitchell will also receive $278,000, half paid personally by Pritzker.
Meantime, Prtizker’s chief of staff Anne Caprara will be paid $148,000 by the state with Pritzker adding an additional $150,000. Her total pay will be $298,000.READ MORE: Lightfoot, CPD Announce Changes To Search Warrant Policies; Police To Begin Tracking Wrong Raids Resulting From Faulty Information
In all, some 20 high level Pritzker employees will receive similar treatment.
Pritzker, one of the heirs to the Hyatt hotel fortune, is worth more than $3 billion. He spent $171 million on his own gubernatorial campaign.
When he takes the oath of office Monday, Pritzker will become the richest elected official in the nation.
Pritzker isn’t the first politician to pay his employees out of his own pocket.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another billionaire, used a similar strategy, reaching into his deep pockets to pay key staff members.
Pritzker is forming a private corporation, called East Jackson Street LLC, to pay the additional salaries.MORE NEWS: Family Praying For Recovery Of 11-Year-Old Ny-Andra Dyer, Shot In The Face At West Pullman Gas Station; 'I Just Need A Miracle'
But pensions will only be paid on salary dished out directly by the state.