Are legislative pay raises an “emergency”?

Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) has threatened to shut down any informal session that looks to grant legislators and constitutional officers pay raises.  In informal session it only takes one legislator objection to shut down the whole session.  

Because of this Bob DeLeo has not brought the pay increases to the floor.  

Now there are Democrats who are openly calling for a special emergency formal session of all legislators to grant the raises.  This session would take place while Deval Patrick is governor and would presumably sign the legislation.

The Boston Herald has the story:

“We haven’t had a raise in six years,” bemoaned state Rep. Benjamin Swan, a Springfield Democrat who, as vice chairman of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, is part of House leadership.

On Beacon Hill for more than 20 years, Swan couldn’t recall the last time an emergency session was called after lawmakers wrapped formal meetings for the year in July, but “I hope it would happen” for this.

“I think it would be appropriate to do it,” Swan said. “We need to have a reasonable compensation so people will want to serve in government … especially at the statewide level and in the Legislature. We’re a full-time Legislature, and it’s a full-time job.”

No Representative Swan it’s a full time job for one week out of the year, budget week in April. Other than that for most legislators it is a one day a week job that the get paid well over $65K a year to perform.  

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno