Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pay Legislators Minimum Wage

The Louisiana Republican Party went on record Saturday opposing any increase in state legislators’ pay during their current term of office.
The party’s governing body voted in favor of a resolution by member Mike Bayham of St. Bernard Parish. There were a handful of dissenters.
“We should just be like the (U.S.) Congress where it doesn’t take effect until the next election where voters could determine that legislators merit it or not,” Bayham said.
Bayham said he did not think it right for today’s legislators to vote themselves a pay raise when some are newcomers with less than six months in office and other term-limited legislators would be getting “a money grab” that boosts their pay in their final years in office.
The Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill by state Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, that would tie state legislators’ pay to a percentage of that of members of the U.S. Congress. The annual base pay of a legislator would increase from $16,800 to $50,700.

The Advocate

A part-time job that pays Fifty Grand a year? Sounds good to me. My suggestion to the legislature would be that since they are there to serve the people (I'm sure that each and every one of them has made this statement at some point), then they should be in step with the people they serve.
Their best argument for an obscene pay raise is that if they don't increase the money, then it will be difficult to get quality people to run for office.
New Flash: quality people don't run for office for the financial rewards, but to truly serve. Legislators currently get a base of over $16,000 per year. Perhaps if we set their pay at the minimum wage level, or better yet pay nothing but traveling expense and lodging then we would get people who truly do want to serve.
How about convening the legislature only every other year as Texas does? This would surely cut down on their financial hardships, and would certainly cut down on the hardships they inflict on the people they 'serve'. Of course, in the case of an emergency the governor could call them into session.
$50,000 + expenses - No!

No comments: