Lawmakers voted themselves pay raise say to promote racial diversity and equality, they say - Manchester Journal

Rep. Emilie Kornheiser (D-Brattleboro) says she voted to raise legislators’ pay in the midst of economic crisis out of concern for ‘racial justice and class disparity.’ Pardon The Interruption, Ms. Kornheiser - but will you make that argument on the campaign trail?

“"For those who say that 'this isn't the right time' to even discuss legislative pay scales — I can't imagine a better time than now to talk about diversity in representation given the conversations around racial justice and class disparity happening throughout our nation," she said. State Rep. Sara Coffey agreed there needs to be debate on "the issue of diversity and privilege and who gets to serve in the legislature based on 18 weeks of pay and a job with no health insurance." "Many legislators who are under 65 patch together many jobs to make it work," said Coffey, D-Guilford. " We are losing some younger and more diverse voices and talent because of low legislative pay. If we want to see more racial, age and socio-economic diversity in the legislature we need to ensure that legislative pay does not fall behind so that everyone can have an opportunity to serve in the People's House and to give it their undivided focus.""


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  • Rob Roper
    commented 2020-07-13 16:43:44 -0400
    So the Democrats’ argument is that they didn’t really give themselves a pay raise, but are giving more money to legislators because “diversity.” Uh huh. The spin is as dizzying as the argument is absurd. To make serving in the legislature a real option for a broader range of the population, increasing the $14,000 compensation for 4.5 months in Montpelier and year round constituent service by a couple of thousand bucks isn’t going to make a difference. But shortening the session from 4.5 months a year to 60 days in the first year of the biennium and two weeks for a “budget adjustment only” session the second year, would allow more people to serve — and it would cost tax payers LESS money, not more.