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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

LV State Legislators Skip the Cola

Lehigh Valley Democrats and Republicans are both skipping the cola this year. I'm not talking about that caffeine-enriched health food loved by one and all, but the annual cost of living adjustment paid to state legislators as regularly as night follows day.

State Democratic leaders were the first to forego this 2.8% automatic payraise. They claimed to be "leading by example," just like they did with Bonusgate. Republicans, miffed that they didn't think of this first, at first called this maneuver a "political ploy," which seems accurate to me. Then they figured out a way to make themselves look good, too. Not only would they reject COLAs, but they'd even introduce legislation to suspend them completely. If this continues, legislators will soon be entirely dependent on lobbyists.

How about the folks in the pits? Specifically, how about that Lehigh Valley delegation to the state house and senate? Well, thanks to Capitol Ideas' John "Is today Friday?" Micek, who had his hounds chase down 19 of twenty legislators in an 8-county region, we know they'll all be sippin' on root beer instead of cola.

This includes Karen Beyer, R-Lehigh; Joe Brennan, D-Northampton; Craig Dally, R-Northampton; Bob Freeman, D-Northampton; Rich Grucela, D-Northampton; Julie Harhart, R-Lehigh; Jennifer Mann, D-Lehigh; Douglas Reichley, R-Lehigh; Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton; Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton; Pat Browne, R-Lehigh; and Robert C. Wonderling, R-Northampton & Montgomery.

Some legislators will contribute their COLA increases to financially-strapped human services in Lehigh and Northampton County. Throughout the state, counties have been shortchanged this year. Not a good year for Children & Youth.

Ho. Ho. Ho.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear this! Everyone is cutting back, well, except for the presidents of the state funded colleges and universities, they were awarded 6% pay raises on their already bloated salaries this year, and they all took them!

Anonymous said...

How about the cola's from the past six years? While the legislature was voting themselves this raise evry year..state worker retiree's were told to suck it up and deal with it! State retirees have to beg on a yearly basis for a cola and have been rebuffed for six now going on seven years! Do your homework before you pat these pols on the back for their largess! Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I'm retired and as many retirees, my income doesn't come with a COLA. If the state retirees' pension plan includes an automatic COLA like the Federal Government, they should get it by all means. If not, any COLA is a bonus.
I note also that since the stock market tanked, the state retirees no longer are pushing for in increase because of all the "extra" money in the plan. I also note, that they are not pushing for a cut now because the plan is way underfunded. Shouldn't be able to have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Please look into how they get this money to the Human Service Departments. I remember the last pay raise flap and a local State Pol, took the raise but then gave to charities. Problem was the offocoal was sure to write the checks and get the credit.

I will believe all this when an independent source confirms it.