(25 ILCS 115/4) (from Ch. 63, par. 15.1)
    Sec. 4. Office allowance. Beginning July 1, 2001, each member of the House of Representatives is authorized to approve the expenditure of not more than $61,000 per year and each member of the Senate is authorized to approve the expenditure of not more than $73,000 per year to pay for "personal services", "contractual services", "commodities", "printing", "travel", "operation of automotive equipment", "telecommunications services", as defined in the State Finance Act, and the compensation of one or more legislative assistants authorized pursuant to this Section, in connection with his or her legislative duties and not in connection with any political campaign. On July 1, 2002 and on July 1 of each year thereafter, the amount authorized per year under this Section for each member of the Senate and each member of the House of Representatives shall be increased by a percentage increase equivalent to the lesser of (i) the increase in the designated cost of living index or (ii) 5%. The designated cost of living index is the index known as the "Employment Cost Index, Wages and Salaries, By Occupation and Industry Groups: State and Local Government Workers: Public Administration" as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor for the calendar year immediately preceding the year of the respective July 1st increase date. The increase shall be added to the then current amount, and the adjusted amount so determined shall be the annual amount beginning July 1 of the increase year until July 1 of the next year. No increase under this provision shall be less than zero.
    A member may purchase office equipment if the member certifies to the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House, as applicable, that the purchase price, whether paid in lump sum or installments, amounts to less than would be charged for renting or leasing the equipment over its anticipated useful life. All such equipment must be purchased through the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House, as applicable, for proper identification and verification of purchase.
    Each member of the General Assembly is authorized to employ one or more legislative assistants, who shall be solely under the direction and control of that member, for the purpose of assisting the member in the performance of his or her official duties. A legislative assistant may be employed pursuant to this Section as a full-time employee, part-time employee, or contractual employee, at the discretion of the member. If employed as a State employee, a legislative assistant shall receive employment benefits on the same terms and conditions that apply to other employees of the General Assembly. Each member shall adopt and implement personnel policies for legislative assistants under his or her direction and control relating to work time requirements, documentation for reimbursement for travel on official State business, compensation, and the earning and accrual of State benefits for those legislative assistants who may be eligible to receive those benefits. The policies shall also require legislative assistants to periodically submit time sheets documenting, in quarter-hour increments, the time spent each day on official State business. The policies shall require the time sheets to be submitted on paper, electronically, or both and to be maintained in either paper or electronic format by the applicable fiscal office for a period of at least 2 years. Contractual employees may satisfy the time sheets requirement by complying with the terms of their contract, which shall provide for a means of compliance with this requirement. A member may satisfy the requirements of this paragraph by adopting and implementing the personnel policies promulgated by that member's legislative leader under the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act with respect to that member's legislative assistants.
    As used in this Section the term "personal services" shall include contributions of the State under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act and under Article 14 of the Illinois Pension Code. As used in this Section the term "contractual services" shall not include improvements to real property unless those improvements are the obligation of the lessee under the lease agreement. Beginning July 1, 1989, as used in the Section, the term "travel" shall be limited to travel in connection with a member's legislative duties and not in connection with any political campaign. Beginning on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd General Assembly, as used in this Section, the term "printing" includes, but is not limited to, newsletters, brochures, certificates, congratulatory mailings, greeting or welcome messages, anniversary or birthday cards, and congratulations for prominent achievement cards. As used in this Section, the term "printing" includes fees for non-substantive resolutions charged by the Clerk of the House of Representatives under subsection (c-5) of Section 1 of the Legislative Materials Act. No newsletter or brochure that is paid for, in whole or in part, with funds provided under this Section may be printed or mailed during a period beginning February 1 of the year of a general primary election and ending the day after the general primary election and during a period beginning September 1 of the year of a general election and ending the day after the general election, except that such a newsletter or brochure may be mailed during those times if it is mailed to a constituent in response to that constituent's inquiry concerning the needs of that constituent or questions raised by that constituent. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to authorize expenditures for lodging and meals while a member is in attendance at sessions of the General Assembly.
    Any utility bill for service provided to a member's district office for a period including portions of 2 consecutive fiscal years may be paid from funds appropriated for such expenditure in either fiscal year.
    If a vacancy occurs in the office of Senator or Representative in the General Assembly, any office equipment in the possession of the vacating member shall transfer to the member's successor; if the successor does not want such equipment, it shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, and if not wanted by other members of the General Assembly then to the Department of Central Management Services for treatment as surplus property under the State Property Control Act. Each member, on or before June 30th of each year, shall conduct an inventory of all equipment purchased pursuant to this Act. Such inventory shall be filed with the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House, as the case may be. Whenever a vacancy occurs, the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House, as the case may be, shall conduct an inventory of equipment purchased.
    In the event that a member leaves office during his or her term, any unexpended or unobligated portion of the allowance granted under this Section shall lapse. The vacating member's successor shall be granted an allowance in an amount, rounded to the nearest dollar, computed by dividing the annual allowance by 365 and multiplying the quotient by the number of days remaining in the fiscal year.
    From any appropriation for the purposes of this Section for a fiscal year which overlaps 2 General Assemblies, no more than 1/2 of the annual allowance per member may be spent or encumbered by any member of either the outgoing or incoming General Assembly, except that any member of the incoming General Assembly who was a member of the outgoing General Assembly may encumber or spend any portion of his annual allowance within the fiscal year.
    The appropriation for the annual allowances permitted by this Section shall be included in an appropriation to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives for their respective members. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House shall voucher for payment individual members' expenditures from their annual office allowances to the State Comptroller, subject to the authority of the Comptroller under Section 9 of the State Comptroller Act.
    Nothing in this Section prohibits the expenditure of personal funds or the funds of a political committee controlled by an officeholder to defray the customary and reasonable expenses of an officeholder in connection with the performance of governmental and public service functions.
(Source: P.A. 95-6, eff. 6-20-07; 96-555, eff. 8-18-09; 96-886, eff. 1-1-11.)