BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers are on the verge of overriding a veto of an $18 million pay raise for themselves.
The House of Representatives voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto by a margin of 116-43 Thursday afternoon. The bill has yet to surface in the Senate.
Under the plan, top-ranking lawmakers would reap most of the benefits. The senate president and speaker of the house would be in line for a $45,000 annual raise, bringing their salaries up to $142,000 each year. Committee chairs and other members of the leadership would also be rewarded with hefty stipends.
Every western Massachusetts Democrat in the house voted “yes” to the pay raise, while the region’s four Republicans voted against it. Rep. Donald Berthiaume (R-Spencer) was among those who wanted the governor’s veto sustained.
“All those leadership, committee chairs, speaker- they get more money now. A substantial amount more money. So, I think it should stay the way it was,” Berthiaume said.
Rep. Bud L. Williams (D-Springfield) defended the pay raise.
“You have to pay your leadership. If you look at the work they do, from the Ways and Means chairman to the speaker of the house, handling a $40 billion budget,” Williams said.
Governor Baker tried to block these legislative pay raises last week.