HOUSE GIVES ITSELF A BACKDOOR PAY INCREASE
ONE DAY AFTER GLOOMY ECONOMIC FORECAST
Columbia, S.C. – April 8, 2008 – Governor Mark Sanford today asked the House of Representatives to reconsider their ill-advised vote in favor of backdoor pay increases for themselves.
“There are many good members of the House – some of who tried to have this vote reconsidered already – and I feel sure that many members must be unaware of this hidden pay increase. I want to alert those members to this, and ask that they revisit the issue,”; Gov. Sanford said.
As it stands now, this almost unbelievable show of disdain for the taxpayers of South Carolina was a vote to increase legislators’ already generous legislative pensions by an automatic 2 percent each year – a legislative pension system that is already three times more generous than that given to the average state employee – a day after the state’s Board of Economic Advisors voted to cut the state’s revenue estimates by $90 million this year and $90 million in the coming year. The governor warned nearly two months ago that such a revision would be necessary.
In spite of this, the House voted to further increase their legislative pay perk in which taxpayers already kick in almost $4 for every $1 contributed by legislators. More egregious still, the governor noted, the House chose to take a non-recorded voice vote on the issue so that voters would not be able to hold legislators who voted for the increase accountable in this election year.
“It is absolutely unfathomable that some in the House would exhibit so much disdain for taxpayers in not only giving themselves this pay raise, but for doing so in such a way that prevents the voters of this state from holding them accountable for something this irresponsible,”; Gov. Sanford said. “It seems that some in the House believe that South Carolina can just print money like Washington. But we all know that isn’t the case, and as the BEA said yesterday, some really tough choices are going to have to be made in order to shore up our budget.”
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