10.01.2008 0

Full-time Pay for Part-time Work?

  • On: 10/13/2008 13:33:00
  • In: Property Rights

  • How would you like to work only part-time and get full-time benefits?

    The Louisiana State Legislature seems to think that’s a pretty good deal—for themselves.

    In a narrow 56-44 vote, the Louisiana State House—a part-time legislature—voted to more than double its pay from $16,800 to $37,500 per year.

    This differed from a State Senate bill that was approved 20-16 raising pay to $50,700. Fortunately for the people of Louisiana, the Senate will not be able to amend the bill and must vote on the House’s slightly more modest proposal, approving or rejecting it.

    This particular legislation has generated uproar from the citizens of Louisiana, many of whom quite logically opposed the bill on the grounds that Louisiana representatives only work part-time

    One Louisiana-based citizen advocacy group, the Louisiana Action Council, had a creative way of raking the bill’s original sponsor, Sen. Ann Duplessis (D-New Orleans), over the coals. They took a picture of her shiny new Mercedes Benz and posted it on the Internet with the following caption:

    “We do not know the exact percentage of Louisiana drivers who cruise around in a Mercedes Benz, but we are guessing that the percentage of Louisiana workers that have the power to triple their own salary is… little to none.”

    Ms. Duplessis, by the way, represents the recently flooded Senate District 2—where most people’s homes likely cost less than her car.

    Bayou Buzz had a great call to action for Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican:

    “Legislators need to understand that they are public servants and voters are the boss. We are the ones that employ these politicians and those who vote for this pay raise can very well be fired at the next election. To all of the competent and skilled legislators who are considering a vote in favor of this bill, think again. It is the equivalent of a political death sentence.

    “For Governor Jindal, it is time to show courage, leadership and get back engaged in what is happening here in Louisiana. It is time to stop the grand political and media tour around the country and stop campaigning for the vice presidential nomination and start paying attention to job #1.

    “People are now watching and demanding that our public servants follow the will of the ones in charge, not the politicians, but the people of Louisiana. Finally the roles are reversed and let’s hope it stays this way.”

    Clearly, Louisianans are outraged. As well they should be. If Louisiana’s lazy lawmakers want full-time pay, perhaps they should go get a full-time job.

    ALG Perspective: This is truly an utter outrage for the people of Louisiana, whose economy is in great need. Louisiana’ system was designed as a citizen legislature, not a jobs program for career politicians. Instead of pay increases, perhaps they need tighter term limits. Right now, they get to serve three consecutive four-year terms. Assuming the Senate votes in favor of the House’s version of this bill, then it will be up to Governor Jindal to prove his mettle by vetoing this abomination.

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