Limited Taxation
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CLT Update
Tuesday, November 9, 1999


" a surprise move, the House Ways and Means committee also proposed an advisory board to study what state lawmakers are paid."

AP - Nov. 9, 1999

Legislators make another money grab for themselves!

Remember the 1994 lameduck 55 percent Legislative Payraise? Remember the Constitutional Amendment put on the 1998 ballot by the Legislature which then locked in that payraise -- made it forever untouchable by us voters and provided the pols with automatic and eternal pay raises -- Question One which foolish voters approved and now can never be changed?

As soon as you heard about the out-of-thin-air payraises recently proposed by the Legislature for constitutional officers (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor) you had to wonder how The Best Legislature Money Can Buy figured it was going to somehow profit itself.

Now we know.

Their salaries are now locked in by the constitutional amendment they effortlessly put on the ballot by simply voting to put it there. But that is not to say their greed has been satiated, or that they've tied their hands from ever again raiding the public trough.

It just means -- as we warned during the campaign for passage of their constitutional amendment -- that they would get more creative, find more ways that we owe them more money.

And already they have.

Even after taking off for months of vacation, with the state budget now over four months late and counting...

They never pass up an opportunity. They're back for another bite from our wallets!

It's time for us taxpayers to give ourselves a pay raise for a change. It's time we take back our tax overpayment. It's time for us to demand an end to this one-way street on Bacon Hill. It's time to repeal the temporary income tax increase. It's time to put it on the ballot.

"A tax cut is a pay raise," our slogan states.

We've got less than eight days left to get our pay raise!

I hope, like the Bacon Hill polls, you won't pass up your one and only opportunity, let it slip away ...

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Chip Ford

Associated Press
Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Executive pay raises advance through committee
By Martin Finucane

BOSTON (AP) A key legislative committee unanimously approved a measure Tuesday to give the state's top elected officials at least a 50 percent pay raise.

The pay raise for the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, state auditor and secretary of state appeared to be on the fast track as the end of the session loomed in just a week.

And, in a surprise move, the House Ways and Means committee also proposed an advisory board to study what state lawmakers are paid.

Ways and Means Chairman Paul Haley, D-Weymouth, said several lawmakers had expressed concern that a clean election law that goes into effect in 2002 would result in a drought of money for lawmakers to pay for duties such as maintaining a district office or making mailings to constituents.

Currently, lawmakers can use their campaign funds to pay for such expenses. But, under the clean election law, fund raising would be limited for those who choose to get an infusion of public dollars, leaving scarce money for non-election-year expenses.

"Something's got to give," Haley said.

"Members have many demands, many financial demands that are related to their official responsibilities for which there are not adequate resources provided," he said.

Voters last fall also passed a referendum that froze lawmakers' base pay at its current $46,410 until 2001. After that, the governor would raise or lower the pay every two years the same percentage as changes in the state's median household income.

Haley stopped short of saying a pay raise was due for legislators but said the idea should be studied.

Marc Draisen, a former state representative and lieutenant governor candidate who chairs Mass Voters for Clean Elections, said, "We do need to find a way to cover the legitimate expenses of office, those that are not campaign-related."

Draisen said he didn't think raising lawmakers' pay was an option, but there were other possibilities, such as increasing the per diem that lawmakers currently receive, appropriating more money for lawmakers' office costs, or allowing limited fund raising specifically to cover office costs.

Haley also defended the committee's swift action on the executive compensation bill, saying it was "uncomplicated" legislation.

Under the bill, Gov. Paul Cellucci would receive a 50 percent raise; Lt. Gov. Jane Swift and the secretary of state, treasurer, state auditor, would get 60 percent increases, while Attorney General Thomas Reilly would get a 56 percent raise.

Haley said he had heard no objections to the pay raise, which are the the first in five years and only the second in 17 years.

The committee also approved a bill to give the state's district attorneys a pay raise from $98,000 to $117,499, effective in January.

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