To understand the present, we must look to our past.
In 2007, legislators voted to increase statewide elected officials including the governor by 30%. Previously, the governor was paid $95,000 annually; the new law increased that amount to $130,000. Likewise, statewide elected officials making $85,000 annually would receive a new salary of $115,000. HB 489 passed in the Senate with 24 yeas and in the House with 57 yeas. Toomy and Salter were the authors.
Curiously enough, amendments that were stripped from the 2007 bill included a raise for PSC commissioners. One legislator argued that an increase to $60,000 was excessive for part-time service for PSC members; another legislator said that pay raises for legislators would never happen due to political pressure from constituents. (June 26, 2007 The Advocate)
Fast forward to 2008: We are currently debating one of the current most contested and controversial bills in more than a decade because legislators are in the process of giving their self a sizeable salary increase.
So did legislators conspire to find a way to avert the pressure of constituents by ‘blackmailing’ the governor? Legislators let Governor Bobby Jindal know straight up that his legislative agenda would not receive positive approval by the legislature if he vetoes their self-imposed legislative raises. Threats of this nature are normally considered blackmail and dealt with by law enforcement severely.
Are legislators ’embezzling’ funds without their ‘bosses’ approval? Any employee who helps their self to the company coffers without prior approval is normally charged with embezzlement. Jindal and the voters have overwhelmingly opposed this pay raise. Legislators are ignoring their ‘bosses’ approval and helping their self with this incredible money grab.
These 56 representatives voted to give their self a pay raise: Anders, Arnold, Aubert, Badon, Baldone, Barrow, Billiot, Burford, Burns, Burrell, Carmody, Chaney, Connick, Cromer, Dixon, Downs, Edwards, Ellington, Foil, Franklin, Gallot, Gisclair, Greene, Harrison, Henderson, Hoffmann, Honey, Hutter, Jackson G, Jackson M, Jones R, LaBruzzo, LaFonta, Lambert, Leger, Lopinto, Marchand, McVea, Monica, Morrell, Norton, Nowlin, Peterson, Pugh, Ritchie, Schroder, Simon, Smiley, Smith G, Smith P, Templet, Tucker, White, Williams, Willmott, and Wooton.
The past also gives us a peak into the future. My guess is that voters will remember these names in upcoming elections.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican