Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Idaho Dems nix pay raises

Idaho Democratic legislators will introduce a resolution next month rejecting the 5 percent pay raise recommended for state lawmakers in the 2009-2010 Idaho Legislature.

“Simply put, we are unwilling to take the pay raise recommended by the compensation committee at a time when so many Idaho families and small businesses are hurting,” said Sen. Les Bock of Boise, who plans to introduce the resolution in the Senate.

“Idaho is dealing not only with a worsening national economy but from a lack of political leadership on issues impacting Idaho families and their jobs and small businesses,” said Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart of Boise, who will co-sponsor the resolution in the House. “This is one step we can take right now to say that we get it, and that we will be tightening our belts, too.”

In June, the Idaho Citizens Committee on Legislative Compensation voted to recommend that state lawmakers get a 5 percent raise – from $16,116 to $16,921 – for the period starting December 1, 2008.

“We’ve seen a continued economic downturn since June,” Bock said. “Tens of thousands of Idahoans are without jobs and many people who are working – including state employees – will either be doing without raises or taking pay cuts. We cannot, in good conscience, accept a raise at this time.”

“It would be irresponsible to accept a pay raise,” Pasley-Stuart added. “When I went door to door during the campaign, the economy was the number one issue that came up.”