Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Local legislators discuss pay hike

In a few weeks, some local legislators will see a 2 percent bump in their paycheck thanks to the annual cost-of-living pay increase.

The annual automatic so-called cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, are tied to the federal Consumer Price Index for the Philadelphia metropolitan area and have been available to legislators, judges and certain top state government officials since the passage of Act 51 of 1995.

Russ Faber, chief clerk for the Pennsylvania Senate, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that legislators will see a cost-of-living pay increase of about 2.165 percent next year.

Below is a breakdown of salaries after the 2 percent bump. (The Harrisburg Patriot-News broke the story Tuesday morning. Faber confirmed the salaries for me Tuesday afternoon.)

Rank-and-file legislators: $83,802
Senate president pro tempore and speaker of the House: $130,820
Majority and minority floor leaders: $121,418
Appropriations Committee chairmen: $112,349

Some local politicians are going to donate the COLA to charity. Others are going to keep it.  You can read what they had to say here.

Also, Daniel Egan, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Office of Administration, confirmed for me that Gov. Tom Corbett will refuse the pay increase and keep his salary at $175,000 - the level in effect when he took office in 2010. (He is eligible to make 187,000 beginning Jan. 1.) Corbett is also going to insist on keeping salaries for his Cabinet members at the 2010 level.

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Do you think legislators should accept this COLA or give it to charity?

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