The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 14, 2013

Pennsylvania government pay raise

The Daily Item

— While the poor starve and the middle class jockey for full time jobs, the legislature, judges and top government officials get another pay raise. In 1979, they passed a law that gives them a yearly raise based on the consumer price index for the mid-Atlantic states.

 So beginning Dec. 1, they got another 2.2 percent increase. If you have been paying attention you know that they have been getting this almost every year since 1979. Instead of changing the law, some make the magnanimous jester of refusing the raise at least for this year. I suggest they change the law to be based on the consumer price index for the average Pennsylvanian and make it a reduction during bad times like now.

 If that isn’t enough to get your dander up, I remind you of the article in The Daily Item on Nov. 3, “Creators of pension mess collecting big.” Again they make the laws and of course the laws provide for themselves before the rest of us. They are talking of cutting back pay and pensions of the regular employees, but even an inkling of cutting back the legislators pay and pensions.

 With legislative pensions like Frank Oliver who collects $286,118 each and every year and Merle Phillips who collects $120,252 each and every year, it’s no wonder the pot is close to empty. There are elections coming up. I challenge anyone up for election to promise to make pay and retirement for legislators, judges and other

top officials to be more in keeping with the income of everyday citizens of Pennsylvania and then actually fulfilling that promise.

Carlyle W. Westlund, Middleburg