Friday, August 05, 2005

Obligatory pay-raise update

  1. Front-page article in today's Inquirer reports the following:
    (a) that DeWeese is standing firm on his demotion of committee chairs who voted against the legislative pay-raise, and, in fact, that some are suffering more punishment.
    Rep. Greg Vitali (D., Delaware), who was stripped of his position as chairman of the subcommittee on energy, said yesterday that a $3,700 request to cover postage for his quarterly constituent newsletter and a separate request for salary for a part-time staff person were denied on July 28, the day he was quoted in an Inquirer article about the reassignments.

    Vitali, who has been in office 13 years, said DeWeese had orally approved the requests only days earlier.
    (b) that a petition drive is underway to link the pay-raise issue to the need for an increase in Pennsylvania's minimum wage.
    Members of Neighborhood Networks, a Philadelphia-based group of liberal activists, gathered 350 signatures in 90 minutes of petitioning outside City Hall to demand that the legislature raise the state minimum wage as penance for its pay raise.

    "The legislature raised its pay 16 to 34 percent, and the minimum wage hasn't gone up since 1995," Marc Stier, an organizer of the group, shouted through a bullhorn at passersby. "It's time to tell our state legislature: No 2 a.m. raids on the treasury."
    (see petition here)

  2. Meantime, John Grogan weighs in again with a column on hypocrisy, focusing on legislators who voted against the pay-raise but now are taking it (including the extra year via unvouchered expenses).
Update: from Pittsburg, a snarky look at the legal fate of the pay-raise, given that the judges got a boost as well... (via GrassrootsPA)


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