Ga. lawmakers forgo cost of living raise

  • Follow Latest News

ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia lawmakers on Monday chose to give up a 3 percent cost of living raise as the state grapples with a widening budget deficit.

Georgia 236 state legislators were expected to add the raise to their $17,341 base salary when they returned for the 2009 session on Jan. 12.

House Speaker Glenn Richardson proposed the change, arguing state workers are not getting a cost of living bump and neither should lawmakers.

"We didn't think it was the right thing to do," said Richardson, R-Hiram.

Leaders voted to defer the raise during a meeting of the Legislative Services Committee. The change does not require the full Legislature's approval and garnered bipartisan support. The committee had gathered for a lawmakers' training session at the University of Georgia in Athens.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, praised the move.

"As we face tremendous budget challenges, it is appropriate that we do our part," Johnson said.

Georgia's lawmakers meet for what is typically a 40-day session and their salaries are only a piece of their total compensation.

They also receive a daily $173 allowance for expenses like food and lodging for attending legislative sessions and committee meetings. And they are eligible for $7,000 a year in expense account money, which they can use for operating expenses.

Georgia is facing a budget deficit expected top $1.6 billion for the fiscal year that began July 1. Gov. Sonny Perdue has ordered state agencies to cut spending by at least 6 percent, but his office said deeper cuts are likely needed as the economy worsens.

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
GuyIncognito
1
Points
GuyIncognito 12/08/08 - 01:55 pm
0
0
Way to go Georgia

Way to go Georgia legislators! Thank you for being fair to the state employees.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 12/08/08 - 03:26 pm
0
0
This sets a good example that

This sets a good example that local governments should follow.

LBenedict
2
Points
LBenedict 12/08/08 - 04:37 pm
0
0
In 5 years, State spending

In 5 years, State spending has gone from $16.1 billion to $21 billion. The Legislature deserves no accolades whatsoever.

Debster
1
Points
Debster 12/08/08 - 04:46 pm
0
0
The legistlators do, however,

The legistlators do, however, set an example that so many others should follow. For that, I applaud them!

aaa
2
Points
aaa 12/08/08 - 05:10 pm
0
0
Send them all to

Send them all to Washington!!!!!!!

Back to Top

Top headlines

Christmas Eve storm possible

ATLANTA - Forecasters say strong storms, some with the potential for isolated tornadoes, are possible over large parts of Georgia on Christmas Eve.
Search Augusta jobs