BOSTON (WWLP) – The Democrat-controlled Legislature will return to the State House this week to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of controversial pay raises for lawmakers and other public officials.
Springfield State Representative Bud Williams is challenging Republican lawmakers. He told 22News if they voted no, they should reject the pay-raise; “I wouldn’t be hypocritical. I wouldn’t vote against something and then take the benefits. I mean, that to me, voters should be more skeptical about individuals like that.”
The proposal would also do away with the per diem system. Instead of getting money for each day they travel to the State House, Western Massachusetts lawmakers would receive $20,000 a year for office and travel expenses.
The package would cost taxpayers up to $18-million each year. The House Speaker and Senate President would be in line for a $45,000 raise, bringing their salaries to more than $142,000 each year.
State Representative Joseph Wagner (D-Chicopee) told 22News, “When you get to a leadership position, there are additional responsibilities beyond those that are in direct relation to representing your district.”
It’s not a done deal. Governor Baker is urging opponents of these pay raises to contact state lawmakers. If five senators or ten representatives reconsider, there will be no pay raise.