Which elected leaders deserve a raise or a pay cut?

New special commission will study the compensation of public officials

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new state commission will soon start evaluating how much money public officials make, called the Special Advisory Commission on the Compensation of Public Officials.

The 7-member commission will decide whether elected leaders deserve a raise or a pay cut, but the idea of a potential raise for these officials makes some in western Massachusetts worried.

Anne Marie Smith of Springfield said, “I think there are many departments in the Commonwealth that are incredibly underfunded, and there are other people who are in perhaps more need, and if there’s a line to get into, maybe they shouldn’t be first in line.”

Others are worried that the state spends too much time evaluating the pay rates of those who don’t struggle financially as much as others in the state.

Alesis Colon of Chicopee said, “We need to get the money and we need to get the pay raise, not just them kind of people. It’s everybody who needs to get the pay raise.”

The members of the commission, who could give these officials a raise, have all been appointed by some of the state’s most powerful politicians, including Governor Deval Patrick, who says he has voluntarily forgone some of the pay he is entitled to.

The commission will look at the compensation of the state’s six constitutional officers, as well as the 200 state legislators. Their pay will be compared to elected officials in other states and the private sector.

The committee will hold a public hearing in Springfield on November 14th, and will give their suggestions in December, after the November election.

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