Pay cut for MA lawmakers
The Hiller Instinct: Pay cut for MA lawmakers
My answer is, "it's real. Very real." Because the $300 that each legislator will lose, and the $700 less the governor will be paid, is real money.
More importantly, Massachusetts lawmakers have never had their pay cut - ever! So, you could call this historic.
I don't care if the amount saved by the pay cuts isn't much compared to the total budget; no single cut would make a giant dent in the budget's bottom line, unless you cancel healthcare.
And the symbolism of the cuts is real, too.
If the salaries of the governor and the legislators can be reduced, then anyone who works for the state can make less. And, yes, that includes state workers in unions, whose contracts guarantee raises, plus big retirement benefits.
Ironically, a little less pay will also give state legislators a little more credibility balancing the budget.
Now, like us, they have all been squeezed by the economy.
So the legislators could thank the governor for cutting their pay, but I don't expect them to.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
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