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Fri., Aug. 28
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Legislator pay hike comes up again


According to the indomitable Fred Dicker, legislators will vote to hike their pay after the November elections.
That's significant, of course, because in tough economic times, legislators making themselves the highest-paid in the country might not go over so well. Then again, they haven't received a pay hike since 1999.
North country legislators said in January they wouldn't vote to hike their own pay. But many of their answers, they said, were dependent upon circumstances: With tough times like these, they said, how could we hike our own pay? So the question becomes, Have circumstances changed enough to change your own vote?
I'm asking the legislators again today. Earlier this morning, a Facebook page attacking state Sen. Patty Ritchie that has no friends and fewer posts went live. So perhaps this issue won't evade electoral politics after all.
Update: I talked with Sens. Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie, two members of the north country's legislative caucus, who both said they hadn't heard any discussions about giving themselves pay increases, and wouldn't support it anyway.
"I'd have to hear their arguments, but at this point in time, I just don't see it," Mr. Griffo said. "You came here, you know the salary, and that's it."
Legislators make a base salary of $79,000, but committee chairs (like Mr. Griffo and Mrs. Ritchie) make more on top of that.
Mrs. Ritchie also said she wouldn't support increasing her own pay, and when I asked the natural follow-up — "Even after November?" — Mrs. Ritchie confirmed: "Even after November."
So don't believe everything you see on Facebook.

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