State officials could soon be getting pay hikes as Cost-of-living adjustment is set to take place

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State officials, including elected lawmakers, could soon be getting pay hikes close to 6%.

This year’s Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is set to take effect as soon as December 1st. But, not everyone in life for the pay raise is happy about it.

State officials could receive an automatic salary increase and taxpayers are the ones paying for the nearly 6% raise.

“A lot of people are struggling right now, a lot of businesses are struggling and a lot of people and their places of employment are struggling,” said State Rep. Brad Roae. “This is not the time for legislators, judges and cabinet secretaries to be getting big pay raises and I really hope we can stop it.”

Last year, one state representative created a bill to stop the automatic cost of living pay increase. The House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously to block the COLA in 2021.

Now, a bipartisan group of representatives wants to do the same thing again with House Bill 583, including Republican Brad Roae from Crawford County.

“I’m hoping hat we can still pass a legislation that would block it, I’m one of the co-sponsors of House Bill 583, which would suspend it. We unanimously suspended the COLA for 2021 and we need to do that for 2022.” Rep. Roae said.

This pay increase effects all three branches of government across the commonwealth.

For legislators, the pay increase would be effective December 1st. For judges, cabinet secretaries and other state officials, the pay increase would start in January.

“The cost-of-living adjustment based on the consumer price index is thanks to a law that was passed in its first form back in the 1990s, decades before I got here. It impacts more than just lawmakers, it’s the governor, executive offices, judges, cabinet secretaries and more. We don’t vote on COLAs for anyone – the only thing we voted on even close to this was our recent move to add more seniors to the PACE and PACENET programs. Last year in the depths of COVID-19, there was a bill to suspend the raises and there is a bill to do the same again this year, but the Republican majority has refused to bring it up for debate. They won’t say why.”

State Representative Ryan Bizzarro

JET 24 Action News has reached out to the entire local delegation regarding this story. As of this writing, Representatives Roae and Bizzarro were the ones to get back to us.

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