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