Why?

Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)

8.14.2011

Oh really, I didn't know THAT was in there...

Back in May, I ranted about the Washington State Legislature...in an effort to reduce the Washington State budget, they were reducing the salary of all state employees 3%.  Well, not really all...union represented ferry workers, state troopers, and higher education employees weren't effected, oh, and neither were the members of the Legislature themselves. 

I can kind of understand the union exemptions...it's been fairly common in this time of salary increase freezes/reductions to leave the unions alone.  If you have agreed to a contract, you need to live up to that contract...the lawmakers not touching their own salaries was explained away because there is an independent citizen led 'salary commission' that determines their salaries.  

Sometime in June, some members of the Legislature got cute, and added a Section 2 to the Salary Reduction bill.  Section 2 ordered the Office of Financial Management to create a form by which elected state officials could voluntarily offer to have their salaries reduced, starting July 1st.  

Cool.  As of August 6th, 12 of the 147 elected officials in the state had put in the paperwork to do so.  For the bold 8% that have done so...congratulations.  The list includes Governor Gregiore, the Lieutenant Governor, and several congressmen and senators, who have sacrificed between 3-5% of their salaries.  Attorney General Rob McKenna(running for Governor) has not elected to have his pay cut, instead saying he will donate his percentage to charity.  I hope he follows through.

More elected officials are signing up every day...and for me, the fly in the ointment of this feel good story is this:

Many lawmakers also said they hadn’t waived their pay sooner because they didn’t know about bill language that created a pay waiver form at www.salaries.wa.gov
You know...if they aren't embarrassed to admit that...they should be.  I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO  freaking tired of hearing lawmakers ADMIT!!! that they didn't know something was in a bill when they voted on it.  What poopy-kaka.  If you were to concur in a 4 page report at work, and your boss sat down and read it and found a paragraph of vulgarity in the middle of it, do you think he would accept the answer 'oh, I didn't know that was in there'....

You can't tell me ANY member of the Legislature read the whole Health Care bill before voting for it...it took me 2 weeks to read The Stand...and that was enjoyable!  Same thing with the last minute panic budget bill....did any of them actually get a chance to read the bill, or 6 months from now are they going to show up to take my guns away because of a two sentence rider in the middle of legislation that no one read prior to it being voted on.  

I would love to see something passed that requires a bill to be available in it's final form for 24 hours prior to being voted...at ANY level. 

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