• Tom Stewart

Legislators Voice Opposition to Proposed Pay Hike



...Boston – A group of state legislators has announced their opposition to a proposed legislative pay increase on Beacon Hill. State Representative Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton), joined State Representatives Jim Lyons (R-Andover), Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), and Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica), authored a letter to Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, and Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg voicing their concerns with the proposal.

“There is no evidence presented in the commission report that validates an increase in the Senate President’s salary to be 108% more than the average of the top eleven salaries of other Senate Presidents. There is no evidence presented in the commission report that validates an increase in the Speaker’s salary to be 102% more than the average of the top 11 salaries of Speakers of the House,” commented the legislators in their letter.

The pay raise is being justified by a report from the Special Advisory Commission Regarding the Compensation of Public Officials, which called for the Senate President & Speaker of the House’s salaries to be raised to $175,000.

“In 2014, I spent the final weeks of informal sessions blocking the attempt to increase theses outrageous increases in salaries,” noted Representative Diehl. “The average Massachusetts family has not enjoyed any tax cuts and now there is a proposal out there to fatten the pockets of those who refuse to provide that relief.”

“Reasonable people can agree that hard work should be compensated with fair pay. Just the same, a pay increase of this magnitude is not only unreasonable, quite frankly it's ridiculous and the taxpayers deserve better than this,” commented Representative Lombardo.

"It's hard to believe the legislature would even entertain this proposal for these obscene salary increases,” said Representative O’Connell. “I'm going to stand with the hardworking taxpayers to reject this money grab to line the pockets of those in power.”

“In his recent inaugural address, President Trump noted that ‘For too long, a small group in our nation's Capital has reaped the rewards of government,” noted Representative Lyons. “Given the current budget climate in our state, it is certainly a message that bears consideration. Proposing a pay raise while money is being cut from essential programs is entirely inappropriate and sends the wrong message to the hard working families and taxpayers who will be asked to pay for it.”

Over $98 million was trimmed from the budget in December of 2016 as state revenues came in under predictions. The legislators closed their letter by urging House & Senate leadership to reject the proposal of the commission.

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