Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Senators pass measure tripling legislators’ base salaries

Senators took less than five minutes Tuesday to pass a pay raise for themselves and House members pegged at 30 percent of the pay of members of the U.S. Congress.

Senate Bill 672 was narrowly approved 20-16 in the Senate very quickly and without discussion. A bill needs a minimum of 20 “yes” votes to win Senate approval. The measure next heads to the state House of Representatives for action before adjournment on June 23.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, said she believes it will be “OK” in the House. She said Gov. Bobby Jindal is not taking a position on the bill, but has agreed not to veto the pay raises if they are approved in the lower chamber.

Legislators have argued they are underpaid and that the salary increases can be afforded because of extra state surplus revenue.

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