238% Pay Increase For Louisiana Legislators Moving Forward
Working people of Louisiana when is the last time you got a raise where you work? When you got that raise how much of an increase was it? Many companies offer cost of living pay raises of 2% or 3% every year.
Some companies also include merit raises which might increase your total compensation from one year to the next by maybe 5% or even 7%. But, unless you own the company, we are guessing you weren't offered a pay raise that equates to 238% were you?
That enormous pay raise is what members of the Louisiana Legislature are currently debating. In fact, a pay increase from $16,800 annually to about $40,000 annually was approved yesterday by the House Governmental Affairs Committee. The legislation was advanced by a vote of eight to four. And because the measure would create an added cost for the state it must also be approved by the House Appropriations Committee as well.
Now, before you start looking side-eyed at our elected officials, they just might have a point. You see the last time lawmakers got a raise for being a lawmaker was in 1980. Then in 2008 Bobby Jindal was the Governor, remember him? He vetoed a potential pay raise for lawmakers. So, they have been stuck getting 1980 wages for quite a while.
Now, if you take $16,800 in "1980 money" and adjust that for inflation the number you get in equivalent "2023 dollars" is just over $61,000. So, maybe our lawmakers are justified in asking for this bump. There are many legislators that do feel the time, effort, and expense they put in to serve the people of the state should come with adequate compensation.
And, a quick check of neighboring states and what they pay legislators reveals the $40,000 number is a lot more in line with reality than the $16,800 is. Those who might argue against the pay raise could certainly cite the state's poor performance in education, the economy, health, and about every other aspect of life. But that argument can be turned around with a simple "you get what you pay for".
Should the legislation clear the House Appropriations Committee it will then go to the full House floor for further debate and discussion. How do you feel about lawmakers asking for more money? Are they doing enough of a job to warrant the increase? Or are you happy "getting what you're paying for" now?
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