Friday, November 21, 2008

Newspaper: Officials should give up pay raise

The Pottstown Mercury is urging Pennsylvania legislators and judges to give up their annual cost-of-living increase in light of the suffering so many fellow Pennsylvanians are facing during the economic slowdown. Pennsylvania legislators are among the highest paid in the country.

From The Mercury's editorial page:
THORNS for a system that continues to reward Pennsylvania lawmakers and state judges while nearly every other sector — public and private — is facing cutbacks. State lawmakers and judges are in line for 2.8 percent cost-of-living raises that will raise the pay for rank and file members of the state House and Senate to just over $78,000 starting next month. Members of leadership will get even more. Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille's salary is going up to nearly $192,000. The pay for county judges will be about $162,000. The same increases are due for Gov. Ed Rendell and his cabinet secretaries. The governor says he might suspend them as part of budgetary belt-tightening. At a time when the mayor of Philadelphia is writing himself a pay cut and other municipal managers are seeing salaries frozen in tight 2009 budgets, the lawmakers in Pennsylvania could make a sacrifice, too. Perhaps they should read the headlines in the state instead of the fine print in their salary package and live in the real world.

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