Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Today, state lawmakers get a raise

State legislators get to open an early Christmas gift today -- a 2.8 percent raise -- that they giftwrapped themselves years ago, but activists want them abolished.

Today, state lawmakers get a raise

 

State lawmakers find it a little easier to cope with the economic crisis today – at least on a personal level.


Today, base salaries for House and Senate members increase 2.8 percent to $78,315 thanks to an annual cost-of-living-adjustment they set in motion in 1995. For more details see the Inquirer’s recent story on the subject.

A group of Harrisburg activists, dressed in doctor's coats, seized on the day to call on the legislature to rescind the COLAs.

 

Gene Stilp, founder of the reform group Taxpayers and Ratepayers United, called the procedure "a COLAectomy."

And he predicted that the public, much like it did in the 2005 payraise debacle, will force lawmakers to perform the surgery. "These COLAs will not stand," Stilp predicted.

  

New lawmakers start receiving the higher salaries today, too, although they haven’t officially been sworn in. They don’t take the oath of office for the new two-year session until Jan. 6, but technically they are the ones who hold the legislative seat.


For departing lawmakers like Sen. Vincent Fumo (D., Phila.), who resigned to devote more time on his federal corruption trial, their last day in office was yesterday. Although they have already received their last monthly state check, for many large pensions are waiting.

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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