10.01.2008 0

Controversial Louisiana Pay Raise still Simmering for Now

  • On: 10/14/2008 11:38:22
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility

  • The proposed controversial pay raise for the Louisiana State Legislature, which has caused quite stir both within the State and nationally as well, is still sitting on Governor Bobby Jindal’s desk, its fate hanging in the balance. Mr. Jindal, a Republican, has until July 8th to veto the bill or it will automatically become law.

    As ALG News reported earlier, the looming pay raise would nearly double the part-time legislators’ salaries—from $16,800 to $37,500 per year. The State Senate has now approved the State House’s proposal. And appropriately, the public has reacted to the bill with outrage.

    One such opponent, the non-profit citizen advocacy group Louisiana Action Council, has been up in arms over the bill—and for good reason. LAC executive director Brian McNabb made the following statement:

    “We are extremely disappointed that the House chose to pass a salary increase that resisted the ultimate will of the people of Louisiana. Despite the fact that House members reduced the pay raise from [tripling to doubling it], there is still no exception for disregarding the thousands of phone calls, letters and emails from residents all over the state pleading for legislators to stand up against this self serving increase in their annual salary.”

    It is clear that the State House, although divided 56-44 over the pay raise, chose to ignore their constituents and pass Bill 672. The last line of defense is now the office of the Governor.

    Until now, however, Mr. Jindal has refused to veto—or sign—the bill. As the Times Picayune recently reported, the governor has slightly modified his stance as of late. Although still pledging not to veto the legislation, Mr. Jindal is now strongly urging lawmakers to rescind the bill. The article quotes the governor as stating:

    “There is still time in this session and I strongly encourage them to reverse what they’ve done, to reconsider what they’ve done…I strongly recommend to individual legislators that they do not accept the pay increase. I think it is a mistake. I think it’s wrong. Again, I think the amount is excessive.”

    Although Mr. Jindal is to be commended for proclaiming the obvious truth regarding the extravagant and irresponsible salary increase, he has not quite gone far enough.

    Here’s an idea: If you’re opposed to the pay raise, why not veto it?

    As a popular Republican governor with notable conservative principles, Mr. Jindal is obligated to listen to the people and veto the bill as it stands. Nothing would boost the governor’s already nationally respected reputation than to stand firm against this unfair and unpopular Big Government legislation. If Mr. Jindal seeks to prove his mettle as an up-and-coming conservative leader—and potential Vice Presidential candidate—he simply cannot allow Bill 672 to become law.

    ALG CTA: We urge all residents of Louisiana to contact the office of Governor Jindal and voice their concern over Bill 672 and demand that it be vetoed. The public must continue to voice their outrage before July 8th when the legislation will become law.

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