BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – In one of the first major votes of the session, both the Massachusetts House and Senate approved a bill to increase their own salaries. Republican lawmakers failed to block this pay raise bill from moving forward in a legislature dominated by Democrats.
The Massachusetts House approved the bill by a 115 to 44 vote on Wednesday, with the Senate voting on it the following day. The proposal would pave the way for significant salary increases for state lawmakers and other public officials, including a $45,000 raise for both the House Speaker and Senate President.
While every single western Massachusetts Democrat voted for the raises, all four of the region’s Republicans voted against the pay hike, including Representatives Donald Berthiaume, Nicholas Boldyga, Todd Smola and Susannah Whipps-Lee.
“People are concerned,” Rep. Berthiaume told 22News. “Mostly concerned about the process and how quick it went. I got a lot of ‘you can do this this quick, but you can’t do other stuff?’ so we’ll see.”
Some Democratic lawmakers are challenging their Republican colleagues, questioning whether they’ll still accept the pay raise despite voting against them.