BOSTON (CBS) – As we contemplate the lightning-fast movement of a huge pay raise for judges and legislative leaders through the usually slow-paced process on Beacon Hill, let’s be fair.
Serving in the legislature can be a tough, demanding job.
Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg are decent, hard-working men who even with these raises will earn a fraction of what their counterparts running comparably-sized private corporations take home. And they haven’t had a pay hike in years.
But the fact is, state government is not a private corporation, with salaries and stockholder dividends that can rise or fall depending on profit margins. It is a public, non-profit entity funded mostly by taxpayers, not by speculative investors. And it’s mission is not to turn a profit – it is to manage the Commonwealth properly, according to priorities that can be drastically different from those of a private corporation.
Surely, one of those priorities ought to be helping needy families caring for severely, chronically-ill children afford continuing nursing care. There are about 900 families in our state who fit that bill, and their stories are daunting and heartbreaking. But the nursing reimbursement these families receive hadn’t been raised in ten years until the state, under pressure from advocates, threw them a one dollar-an-hour bone recently.
Eighteen million dollars to raise the pay of lawmakers and judges who are in no danger of missing a meal, before doing right by these heroic families and their caregivers?
Something is very wrong with this picture.