Letter to the Editor

February 28, 2017
By

$18 MILLION LEGISLATURE PAY RAISE

Dear Editor:

Our Legislators voted themselves an appalling $18 million in raises, stipends and expense account increases. This was done with lightning speed under the cover of the Patriots Super Bowl win and a national political hysteria. This act avoided public debate or opposition, and it increased compensation by up to 70 percent in some instances.

Did our Legislators’ support this taxpayer affront? … Rep DeLeo-Yes;  Senator Boncore-Yes;  Rep RoseLee Vincent-Yes.   Who actually defended working families in Massachusetts? … every Republican in both the House and Senate yet only nine Democrats.

There are multiple reasons to abhor this attack on our tax receipts, public programs and our families:

It was underhanded. This pay raise was intentionally attached to Judicial and Court matters. This maneuver rendered these pay raises un-appealable.

It violated the State Constitution. By a 61 percent to 28 percent margin in a valid state election in 1998  Massachusetts voters tied Legislators’ salaries to median household income. This became part of our State Constitution.

This is their second raise in just weeks. The Legislature received a 4 percent automatic pay raise just weeks before they again fattened their own compensation.

Massachusetts has one of the highest per capita debts in the nation. This raise adds to the current year budget gap, it adds to every successive year’s expenses, and it means long term pension obligations will increase.

Massachusetts revenues are currently running below anticipated levels. Cuts are now being made to adjust for sagging revenues. The Legislature already cut the August Sales tax Holiday. These cuts will hurt children, families and working poor.

In 2000, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed a law to reduce the state income tax from 5.95 percent to 5 percent by 2003. Our taxes were never reduced by our Legislators as mandated by law.  Conclusion: They believe they are more important than us.

In 2008 our leaders slapped the public with a sales tax increase of 6.25 percent from 5 percent. Reason “we” (read “they”) need the money.

Our politicians were already the highest paid in the nation before they increased their own pay.

We all know our local leaders. We grew up with them and they know our names. However, this is what happens when you lack a viable two party system and have lifetime Democrat Legislators. Vote fresh representation and political balance to protect your families at every trip to the polls, and try Republican next election!

You can find the Winthrop Republican Town Committee on Facebook.

Paul Caruccio-Chairman Winthrop Republican Town Committee

S.Belmonte-Vice Chair

 

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