Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker proposed cutting $16.5 million for opioid abuse relief, HIV treatment, and elder care just a month before Massachusetts legislators voted for a $18 million pay raise. Senior legislators will be receiving a $45,000 a year pay raise, roughly twice the annual income of a New Bedford resident. The full legislation can be read here.
To be fair, not all legislators voted for the pay raise. The final vote in the House was 115-44; all 35 Republicans and 9 Democrats voted against the raise. The bill on the malegislature.gov website doesn’t show the roll call vote, so the media has to track down the yes/no votes. Having full transparency on the votes seems to be a second thought. Additionally, Republicans tried to push for more public hearings on the bill, but that was quickly crushed by the “yes” voting legislators.
The presenters of the bill, Robert DeLeo and Stanley Rosenberg, stand to benefit the most. The Bill pushes for a $45,000 pay raise for the Senate and House leaders. Must be nice to be able to craft and vote on a bill that provides about a 50% salary increase.
This bill now goes to the Senate and then to Governor Baker’s desk for signature. The bill also increases Governor Baker’s salary from $151,800 to $185,000 and provides an additional $65,000 housing allowance for him. Will Governor Baker veto a bill that includes a $98,200 pay increase for himself?
Our Twitter poll showed that 91% of those responded are against $45,000 pay raises for senior officials. Over the past few weeks we’ve shared stories of these pay raises and I didn’t see anyone that supported it.
Not happy about this? You can find your legislator here and voice your opinion.