The House has broken for lunch without discussing the pay raise issue. It's on the schedule for sometime after 1 p.m. Meanwhile, a sample of what Louisiana bloggers are saying:
C.B. Forgotston, in an open letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal:
[T]he people of the state are more upset about this pay raise than anything Ive ever witnessed in my lifetime of living in Louisiana. Frankly, if you dont side with us on this issue, all the other reforms that you are pushing (and have passed) will be meaningless.
This is the same legislature who is cutting 240 million from health care and education in Louisiana? That includes ensuring stagnant salaries and hiring freezes and other cutbacks that compel state employees to do more than one person's work in exchange for one person's salary!
FYI, Louisiana Legislature: You want your pay to meet national standards? As a state employee, I have yet to reach the same income that I received in Florida, that mecca of high pay, ten years ago for doing the same job. When you can manage to fix that problem, rather than deliberately making it worse, I'll get behind you on a pay raise.
I say drop the percentage to 20% of Congressional pay, which would still be a raise for Louisiana legislators, who have not seen a raise in pay since 1993. That would bring their base pay to $33,860, and with the expense account and per diem, which regularly adds an additional $18,000 to $21,000 to their base pay, legislators will still be sitting pretty.
Oh, and one more thing ... these pay raises should not go into effect until after the next round of elections, which would be 2012. That's only fair, as legislators wouldn't know if they were voting to raise their own pay or not. The voters can make that determination.
I guess Im in a very small minority with this opinion, but I actually support our Louisiana state legislatures efforts to give themselves a huge salary increase. Its not because I think they deserve a reward them for a job well done. Its not because I like big government or higher taxes. Its because when I looked into the prospect of running for the legislature myself (yes, I know, ha ha ha) I have to admit the salary was a nonstarter. I understand public service entails some sacrifices, but the pay really is paltry a joke. What is it, like $23K? Oh, its supposed to be a part-time job, but thats a joke too.
I certainly understand the kneejerk reaction against the pay raise. But I find myself, surprisingly, in the camp that says we get what we pay for, and maybe if the job paid a decent wage wed getter a better quality of applicant.
Hi! Hi! Were your legislators! Ah-huh!
And have we got news for YOU! You better listen!
Get ready all your poor voters
and leave your ethics at home! Alright!
Gas prices are rising! Disposable incomes low!
According to all sources - politics is the way to go!
Cause on Friday for the first time
Just about in a flash
For the first time in history
Its gonna start raising cash!
Its raining cash, Hallelujah! Its raining cash, Amen!
At the expense of taxpayers Im gonna go out and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!
Its raining Cash, Hallelujah! Its raining Cash, Amen!
More when the House gets back from lunch...