Jan. 5, 2021 (Photo Credit: SHNS)
WOBURN — Amid an economy gutted by the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19, a scheme enacted four years ago by Democratic leadership to grant themselves significant pay raises nevertheless is about to kick in — again.
“People are out of work, families are struggling to put food on the table, and these same Democrats who insist on further shutting down our economy are giving themselves raises for the third time in as many sessions,” Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said Monday. “This honestly makes me sick to my stomach.”
With the state unemployment rate having reached record highs in 2020, lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated Legislature are set to rake in $4,280 raises, according to the Boston Herald, bringing base pay to $70,536. Those serving in leadership positions will earn even more. Pay raises are also on tap for elected Democrats serving as Massachusetts constitutional officers, including Attorney General Maura Healey and Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin.
“They keep lecturing us that ‘we’re in this together,’ yet they’re the ones getting raises while the people they are supposed to be serving are losing their businesses and homes,” Lyons said. “Democratic leadership took a legislative nap from midsummer until after the election because they were afraid of having to defend their positions, and this is how they’re rewarding themselves.”
Meanwhile, the State House News Service reports that it was Gov. Charlie Baker who claimed in a letter to state Treasurer Deb Goldberg that the 6.46 percent increase in lawmakers’ salaries “is warranted…based on changes in median household income.”
“I can’t for the life of me understand why Gov. Baker would claim these legislative pay increases are warranted at a time when most people are struggling just to get by,” Lyons said.