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    Pay Raise Vote a Big Time Boost

    Through a Freedom of Information Act request, MassFiscal obtained the payroll records for lawmakers before and after the legislative pay raise vote. We're publishing it on our website for two reasons. First, we believe transparency in how the government spends our tax dollars is crucial. Only the professional politicians win when information like this is kept secret. Second, the slippery stories legislators are telling about this vote are outrageous. We think people deserve the truth. A few highlights: The biggest boosts came in the Senate, with some members earning more than 70 percent this year over last. Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst), the highest earner in either chamber and one of the architects of the pay grab, saw a 59 percent bump. Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), who heads the ethics committee, will receive an additional $60,315 this year over what she earned last year. Creem's 73 percent increase is a smidge less than Senator Harriet Chandler (D-Worcester)'s 76 percent increase, or an additional $67,815, post "emergency" pay raise legislation. The big winner in the House is Rep. Claire Cronin (D-Brockton), who was granted the largest percentage increase (60 percent) in the lower chamber, boosting her salary to $107,548 from last year's $62,548. The legislation's author in the House, Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), increased his pay by $55,315, or about ten percent more than the average salary of a firefighter in his home town.  The list is interesting reading. See for yourself, by clicking through on the links below.   
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    Per Diems Are Back

    This morning, the Boston Herald uncovered a new layer of the Pay Raise saga: thirty-seven lawmakers who voted for the pay raise and received $15,000 - $20,000 in travel expenses are still receiving back pay in Per Diems. Previously, lawmakers could claim back pay on travel expenses in the form of Per Diems. Some opted out while others claimed thousand in reimbursements. Following the pay raise, lawmakers did away with the Per Diem process in favor of lump sum expense accounts that now count towards their pensions. However, due to a little known rule that allows lawmakers to retroactively readjust Per Diems, legislators are continuing to bring in more money.  This developing story comes after Beacon Hill leadership declined, for a second consecutive year, to establish a sales tax-free weekend. See the list of lawmakers who have claimed Per Diems after voting for the pay raise below. Read the Boston Herald story here.    Chamber Rep Name Per Diem Travel Expense Salary House Aaron Vega $990 $20,000 $87,747.97 House Christine Barber $340 $15,000 $77,547.97 House Chynah Tyler $180 $15,000 $77,547.97 House Dylan Fernandes $500 $20,000 $82,547.97 House Evandro Carvalho $2,060 $15,000 $82,747.97 House Frank Smizik $240 $15,000 $92,547.97 House Gerard Cassidy $126 $15,000 $77,547.97 House James O'Day $3,456 $20,000 $97,547.97 House Jay Kaufman $1,674 $20,000 $107,547.97 House Jerald Parisella $72 $15,000 $92,547.97 House John Christopher Walsh $1,188 $15,000 $77,547.97 House John Scibak $240 $20,000 $97,547.97 House Jose Tosado $1,560 $20,000 $82,547.97 House Juana Matias $442 $15,000 $77,547.97 House Kay Khan $250 $15,000 $92,547.97 House Kevin Honan $1,780 $15,000 $92,547.97 House Lori A. Ehrlich $3,528 $15,000 $92,547.00 House Michael Moran $1,680 $15,000 $92,547.97 House Patricia Farley-Bouvier $810 $20,000 $87,747.97 House Paul J. Donato $380 $15,000 $112,547.97 House Paul Mark $2,340 $20,000 $97,547.97 House Robert Koczera $540 $20,000 $87,747.97 House Russel Holmes $380 $15,000 $82,747.00 House Sarah Peake $962 $20,000 $87,747.97 House Sean Garballey $820 $15,000 $82,747.00 House Stephan Hay $2,556 $15,000 $77,547.97 House Stephen Kulik $1,110 $20,000 $112,547.97 House Theodore Speliotis $198 $15,000 $107,547.97 House William Pignatelli $810 $20,000 $97,547.97 House Mary Keefe $540 $15,000 $77,547.97 House Peter Kocot $396 $20,000 $112,547.97 House Joseph Wagner $7,440 $20,000 $112,547.97 Senate Adam Hinds $540 $20,000 $102,747.97 Senate Harriette Chandler $252 $20,000 $157,547.97 Senate Marc Pacheco $3,816 $15,000 $142,547.97 Senate Michael Rodrigues $1,980 $20,000 $132,547.97 Senate Stanley Rosenberg $600 $20,000 $162,547.97
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