POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Legislators forego raises

Camie Young

Camie Young

With $2 billion to be shaved from the state budget, legislators are making sure they don’t add to the problem by taking a pay increase themselves.

The Legislative Affairs Committee of the General Assembly voted to forego the cost-of-living increase scheduled to be given to state employees. This makes the third consecutive year the Legislature has decided against the increase.

“Georgia families continue to struggle in this national economic downturn,” said Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock. “Cost of living increases are very rare in the private sector these days, and we believe the government should operate in the same manner.”

State representatives and senators are paid a salary of $17,341. For the past 18 months, almost all the lawmakers agreed to participate in a one-day-per-month furlough, which reduced that pay.

Gwinnett’s House leadership is in place.

Last week, members of the local delegation elected Rep. Tom Rice to lead the group. Rice, a Republican from Norcross, is one of the county’s longest serving representatives. He is chairman of the House Committee on Motor Vehicles.

David Casas, R-Lilburn, was elected the group’s vice chair, during a break during an annual training session in Athens. Buford Republican Josh Clark, who will be sworn in for the first time in January, will serve as secretary.