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.