Republican David M. Maloney won't take office until January, but he's already paying dividends for constituents in the 130th State House District.
Maloney announced Tuesday he will not accept the automatic 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment increase that members of the Pennsylvania Legislature gave themselves.
The automatic COLA raise was enacted in 1995 and gives a yearly pay raise for state legislators, members of the executive branch, including the governor, state judges and other state officials. (Gov.-elect Tom Corbett has also announced he will not accept the raise.)
Maloney issued the following statement: "Taking the increase is simply not the right thing to do. I have met so many people in our district this year who are truly struggling to pay bills, taxes and keep their homes. With Pennsylvania's high unemployment at nearly 10% and many of those out of work will be seeing the end of their unemployment benefits soon and as the Social Security Administration said there will be no increase again for our seniors, this is not the time for a COLA increase."
Maloney said he will return the COLA to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
"It is the people's money. We also have a nearly $5 billion dollar hole in our budget coming next year so every belt needs tightening. The State Legislature needs to lead by example."
Maloney, a reform candidate who unseated Democratic incumbent Rep. David Kessler, represents the 130th district, which includes Boyertown, Birdsboro, Fleetwood and Earl, Douglass (Berks), Ruscombmanor, Amity, Rockland, Pike, Oley, Union and Colebrookdale townships and parts of Exeter Township.