Commission to study the salaries of state elected officials

BOSTON (WWLP) – A bipartisan commission will take a closer look at how much the people you elected into office get paid and suggest whether adjustments should be made, to either cut their pay, or increase their salaries.

The Special Advisory Commission on the Compensation of Public Officials has been created to independently study the salaries of state elected officials, like the Governor, state representatives and state senators. Only catch is they were hand-picked by some of the state’s most powerful politicians. Four of the seven members were chosen by Governor Deval Patrick himself.

(How can this be, you know, an independent study if you’re appointed by these officials that you’re studying?)
“Well, I think it’s clear that the makeup of the commission is people who have earned reputations for their independence over their careers,” said President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Michael Widmer.

Members include:

  • Ira Jackson, Dean of the University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Michael Widmer, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association
  • Cathy Minehan, Dean of the Simmons College School of Management
  • Chris Kealey, Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable
  • J. Lynn Griesemer, Executive Director of the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts
  • Mary Ann Ashton, Co-Chair of the Acton-area League of Women Voters
  • Scott Jordan, Undersecretary of the Office of Administration and Finance

The seven-member commission will compare the salaries of Massachusetts elected officials with those in other states, as well as the private sector.

Commission Chairman Ira Jackson told 22News, “It’s not as though our recommendations will become law. They will be recommendations to the legislature and the governor for broad public scrutiny and deliberation.”

Any Changes to salaries of elected state officials must first be approved by the legislature. The commission expects to issue their recommendations in December. Two public hearings will be held, one at the State House on November 6 and the other in Springfield on November 14.

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