That’s the unique new program lawmakers should understand when they want to buy stuff they cannot afford. The Governor vetoed their 40 percent pay raise in January and their $40B budget in July. Yet, these lawmakers are now considering restoring 169 Gubernatorial line item vetoes to the FY2018 budget, totaling over $320M.
The legislature hit a new low when, after working on a budget in secret, released it one Friday morning with the intention of voting on $40B in just one day. They then decided to wait until September to see the influx of tax revenues before taking up Governor Baker's vetoes.
In the first two months of the current fiscal year, we are down $11M from the benchmark, though revenue is up from the same time last year. It’s safe to say, now isn’t the time for increasing spending.
Tomorrow, the House will take up the Governor’s vetoes. This is where we need your help.
As the House mulls over the overrides, we can stand up and ask our lawmakers to support the governor’s fiscally responsible budget vetoes. We cannot continue to function as a Commonwealth while lawmakers play fast and loose with our tax dollars. Complete our Call to Action to contact your lawmakers. We just cannot afford a $40B budget or a 40% pay raise. Get started here.
Many residents may have noticed a flyer in their door regarding state Representative Natalie Higgins, (D-Leominster). The flier focuses on Rep. Higgins’ support of a bill she co-sponsored with Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state. It’s a gift to the farthest of the far left.
Shortly after Higgins co-sponsored Eldridge’s legislation, the Massachusetts Democratic Party put into their party platform support for making Massachusetts a sanctuary state. Higgins’ and Eldridge’s bill actually prohibits local and state law enforcement from applying Federal immigration laws in the state. As you know, some cities and towns in Massachusetts have already implemented sanctuary city statutes, but many have rejected them. Recently, Greenfield said "NO!" and rejected efforts to become a sanctuary city.
But choice isn't something Higgins supports. She's proposing the state overrule local decision making in towns like Greenfield.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigration costs Massachusetts taxpayers $1.8 billion each year. If Higgins’ bill passes and ties the hands of law enforcement, that number will soar.
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is informing the residents of Rep. Higgins’ district to let them know that she's leading the charge to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state. If controlling illegal immigration matters to you, contact Representative Higgins and urge her to drop her support for the sanctuary state legislation. Her office phone number is 617-722-2060.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, MassFiscal obtained the paycheck records for lawmakers before and after the legislative pay raise vote. We compared the bi-weekly records of all 200 lawmakers.
We're publishing it on our website for two reasons. First, we believe that the transparency on 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 100% in paychecks compared to before the pay raise vote. The average paycheck for lawmakers is 37% but the Senate bump was higher, at 65%.
Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), the highest earner in either chamber, saw a 145% percent bump. Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), who heads the Ethics Committee, will receive an additional $3,254.55 per paycheck this year over what she earned before the vote. Creem's 121% percent increase is a smidge less increase, than Senator Mark Montigny’s 128% or an additional $3,446.86 per paycheck, post "emergency" pay raise legislation.
The big winner in the House is Rep. Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy), who was granted the largest percentage increase (108% percent) in the lower chamber, boosting his paycheck to $5,591.32 from $2682.62. The legislation's author in the House, Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), increased his annual 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.