Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bill would nearly triple N.C. lawmakers' pay - no joke

The state may be short of cash to give school teachers a raise but Rep. Robert Brawley, R-Iredell, thinks there should be enough to give his legislative colleagues a big bump in pay.

In a bill filed today, Brawley proposes that the pay of members of the General Assembly be increased to $36,000 a year starting with the 2015 legislative session.

Brawley and his colleagues in the House currently earn an annual salary of $13,951 with a monthly expense allowance of $559.

Brawley himself won't benefit if House Bill 1176 gets adopted. He lost recently in the primary to John Fraley.

Brawley though isn't the only lawmaker looking at the pay issue. In South Carolina recently s the state Senate approved boosting their legislative salaries. But public sentiment is running strongly against it with even S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley critical of the idea.

Some S.C. lawmakers would  see raises up to "192 percent" with the senate bill that's proposed, according to watchdog groups. Lawmakers would get $12,000 more in pay - added to the $10,400 a year salary and their $12,000 a year annual expense pay for a new total of over $34,000. The raises would cost the state over $2 million annually. Observers speculated that if such a bill passed the House, Haley would veto it and there would not be the votes to override her veto.

No price-tag has been put on Brawley's bill but it could be higher given lawmakers' lower starting point. N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory hasn't commented on it.

Brawley apparently feels strongly that lawmakers aren't compensated enough for their part-time work. Last year, he introduced legislation to allow legislators and legislative employees to accept gifts from lobbyists.

Brawley didn't forget teachers. Also on Wednesday, he filed a bill that would allow each county to increase property taxes by one-cent for teacher compensation.

Brawley doesn't appear to be in the good graces of the GOP legislative leadership though so neither bill could see much support. On Wednesday, he was either ousted or dropped out of the House Republican caucus.

Brawley said a "vote of no confidence" was called at a meeting of the House Republican caucus on Tuesday which "effectively, removed me from the caucus."

Majority Leader Edgar Starnes disputes that, saying that Brawley "voluntarily" removed himself from participation in future meetings of the caucus, meetings where lawmakers plot strategy and debate issues considered too sensitive for public exposure. Caucus meetings aren't subject to the state's open meetings laws. Brawley has ticked off legislative leaders by publicly exposing what has gone on in some of those meetings.


John said...

This is the neo-liberal way. Maximize your own wealth at the expense of those "inferiors." 2014 marks the full fledged return of the Social Darwinistic Gilded Age of 1894. The current NC legislature even abridged 1st amendment freedoms of protest so they do not have to tolerate those "pesky" "treasonous" protestors. Reminds one of the treatment Coxey's Army received upon arriving in DC when they were arrested for walking on the grass during their protest.

Ronald Shepherd said...

$36,000.00 for a part-time job? Beginning Teacher pay frozen for several years at $30,800.00 for a Full-Time job? Let's put it out there for consideration.... Do you value Legislators above Teachers? Please do not use "bad words" when you respond.

eilene said...

Bwahahaha, Ronald! That's funny!I don't think there is enough room in Dante's circles of hell for all of these twits.

Carol Justus said...

They should cut their pay to same wage as the minimum wage and per hour worked they still would make 50 dollars an hour plus 9 10 months vacation,free medical care, pension plus the perks that just happen to fall into their pockets as the campaign contributions come in!!!

Bobby Padgett said...

If this bill even reaches a floor vote, every teacher in the state should go burn down Jones St.