Niagara Gazette


January 3, 2013

EDITORIAL: Lawmakers: This is no time for raises


Niagara Gazette — To take time this year to add to their own salaries — a very livable $79,500 per year — would be an unconscionable act of greed on the part of members of the state legislature.

It's time for state lawmakers to come to terms with a simple private-sector concept: There are no raises until the company is prosperous again.

New York is not prosperous, not by a long shot. 

And to our Albany representatives from Niagara County — state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, and state assemblymen John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, and Robin Schimminger, D-Tonawanda, among them — understand this: It's not good enough to say you'll vote against raises for yourselves and your colleagues this year. 

Your constituents expect you to be out in front, leading the charge and waging battle against higher lawmaker wages.

Voting 'no' now only to cash larger checks later isn't good enough. 

It's akin to standing by while a robbery occurs. 

Should the rumored pay raises for state lawmakers come to pass, we'll call upon you to return the added salary if possible, or bring it back to your districts in the form of straight, cash donations to area community groups or other worthwhile charities.

Rest assured, we will not sit silent and let you collect more money when so many of your constituents earn less and pay more.

The economy is ailing, the state is still dealing with the effects of a devastating storm and there's a great deal of uncertainty in households across America.

Now is not the time for personal greed and pay raises. 

As working class people across America fully understand, now is a time of sacrifice when focus needs to be placed on the greater good. 

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