Corbett: it's not realistic to expect to receive cost of living increases in this economy

 Gov.-elect Tom Corbett said Tuesday that he thinks “it’s very difficult” to be expecting to receive a cost of living increase in 2011.

 “I certainly want to have a discussion with the legislature,” about those expected increases, but refused to detail what exactly he will ask lawmakers to do.

Pennsylvania's top officials, including legislators and judges, are slated to receive a pay boost of 1.7 percent.

Newly elected and returning legislators will get the increases starting Dec. 1, when the new legislature opens for business, even though they won't be sworn in until January. Others will see their increases kick in on January 1.

Rank-and-file legislators' salaries will increase from $78,315 to $79,623, while higher ranking lawmakers are paid more. Salaries for the four legislative floor leaders will rise from $113,468 to $115,364.

Corbett did say Tuesday that after talking about it with his wife, he has decided to skip the 2011 increase slated for the governor’s salary. He will instead give that extra money to charities around the state.

The 2010 statutory salary for Pennsylvania’s governor is $174,914. That salary will shoot up to $177,888 in January, when the cost of living adjustment kicks in.

Gov. Rendell has been earning $170,150, having also decided to forgo any cost of living adjustments to his salary since 2008. 

The governor will also skip the 2011 increase for the three remaining weeks of his term that fall in the new year, spokesman Gary Tuma said.

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