Editorial: Down with the Raise

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Our 140 House and Senate legislators have a choice to make – take the cost of living allowance pay raise of $1,608 dollars or decline the increase in writing. Those in the House would send their letter of refusal to the Clerk of the House and those in the Senate would send their letter of decline to the Secretary of the Senate – hint hint.

With all our state has on its plate right now specifically referencing the massive budget shortfalls, cuts to critical programs, salary freezes, layoffs, proration – how could any elected official willingly accept this raise right now?  Our Governor – the highest level government official in the state – is working without a paycheck until we reach full employment.  I would rip a page out of his playbook about now.

Here's some math – 140 lawmakers times $1,608 in raises equals $225,120 in savings that could then be directed to critical programs with a $400 million dollar shortfall in the General Fund, we can use every penny right now.

Come election time I'm sure we will all remember those that raised their hand, wrote a letter and did the right thing for our state and the people they represent. I can assure you we will also remember those that did not.

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