BOSTON (CBS) — Gov. Charlie Baker has vetoed a bill that called for annual increases in top state legislators’ pay.

On Friday, Baker announced he has officially vetoed the pay raise measure that would cost the state $18 million. Still, the measure passed in both the Senate and the House by a wide enough margin that Baker’s stand against the pay increase likely  won’t matter. The legislature has enough votes to override a veto.

Baker called the bill “fiscally irresponsible.”

“Given the Commonwealth’s fiscal outlook as we continue to rightsize our budget, close the structural deficit, and reduce the reliance on one-time revenues without raising taxes, we felt it was important to veto this fiscally irresponsible legislation,” Baker said.

In a statement issued before Baker signed the veto, he said he opposed the bill because it doesn’t best serve the taxpayers.

“Lt. Governor Polito and I are deeply thankful for our collaborative relationship with the Legislature that has produced positive results for the people of Massachusetts – and while we disagree on the issue of compensation, we are optimistic that we will continue to work together to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to us by the people of Massachusetts,” the statement said. “One of those core responsibilities is the responsible custody of the people’s tax dollars, and we will veto this legislation because given the current fiscal outlook for the state, now is not the time to expend additional funds on elected officials’ salaries.”

The bill does not change the $62,547 annual base salary for legislators, but secures increases in additional stipends to the state legislature’s leaders. That would mean an approximate $45,000 salary increase for leaders like  House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, putting their pay about $142,000. The bill also would raise Baker’s annual salary from $151,800 to $185,000, and give him a housing stipend.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

Comments (2)
  1. An annual increase, not just a pay raise? Is anyone still getting those? We’ve actually been getting commissions reduced every year. Legislators will over ride the veto….time to take names and remember them come time to vote. Thankful for Baker and his approach. His respect for the voters. Too bad there are not more of him to go around. Can we clone him?

    Everyone in government has been infected with this idea that we don’t need to govern with a budget, but if you want what you want….go right ahead and borrow the money or raise taxes. The national debt – how much are we paying for interest to China and Japan? The most recent report I read is that by the year 2020, we will be spending a trillion dollars a year in interest. Think about that.

    I used to worry about that more, but lately, the hopelessness of ever paying it off, has suddenly flipped a switch for me, and I’ve started thinking, maybe if we can’t pay it off when China or Japan calls in our loan, they will claim our country as payment. We’ll all wake up one morning and be in China instead of America. But maybe China could govern our country better. They certainly seem to be smart enough to not be in debt, but instead are pulling in a pretty nice size nest egg in interest. Smart.

  2. I am appalled and upset that the House and Senate have quickly approved themselves a substantial pay raise as we are talking about a tight budget and cuts to programs that support our elders, those with disabilities and even addiction services. I feel they took advantage of the timing when people were distracted by the inauguration and protests over the past 2 weeks.
    I have worked in Human Services for 30 years since graduating from college. I don’t even make as much as the pay raise voted for Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg. My agency is bracing for cuts to programs and therefore my pay has stayed stagnant for the past 5 years.
    I voted for both Paul Brodeur and Jason Lewis because they both have records of supporting causes that are near and dear to my heart. I am not opposed to an annual cost of living increase but the 18 million dollar package is absolutely outrageous.
    I support Charles Baker’s veto of these raises although I hear that there will be enough support to possibly override this. I am deeply saddened you are able to decide your own pay rates while you work for us. I will remember this when it is time to vote for your reelection.

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