Thursday, November 03, 2005

No Raise for Pa. Legislators 

Commons sense, and public pressure prevailed:
HARRISBURG - They finally got the message.

After four months of angry letters, biting editorials, protests, and dismal poll numbers, Pennsylvania legislators voted last night to repeal the pay raise they had approved for themselves, judges, and other state officials.

In an extraordinary reversal, the Senate unanimously decided to tear up the entire law, enacted July 7, that made the General Assembly the nation's second-highest-paid legislature.

"We need to repent, repeal and reform," Sen. Jim Ferlo (D., Allegheny) said during a short floor debate.

"Today's vote is about respecting the public," said Sen. Richard Kasunic (D., Westmoreland). "... Democracy has worked."

Hours later, shortly before 11 p.m., the House followed suit, approving the bill 196-2.

"Pressure mounted in individual lawmakers' districts and they had to listen to the public," Rep. Charles T. McIlhinney Jr. (R., Bucks) said moments after the House voted.


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