Quinn Announces Bill to Suspend Legislative COLAs

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Rep. Marguerite Quinn
143rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(215) 489-2126
(717) 772-1413
Contact: Nicole Wamsley
[email protected]
(717) 783-8063
Member Site: RepQuinn.net
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com
November 16, 2009

Quinn Announces Legislation to Suspend Legislative COLAs
The economy dictates this is not the year for a raise

HARRISBURG – Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) today introduced House Bill 2097, which would amend the Public Official Compensation Law to suspend the planned Dec. 1, 2009, cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for members of the General Assembly.

"We have an unemployment rate approaching 9 percent in Pennsylvania, and many people who still have jobs have taken pay cuts," said Quinn. "It is common sense to suspend the COLA for legislators during these tough economic times. How can we accept a pay increase during a year when we have cut so much from the budget and so many others must do with less or with nothing at all?"

Cuts to the 2009-10 fiscal year budget included education programs, student loans, environmental protection, the Department of Health, economic development, agriculture, and many more. In addition, funding for state-related universities has not been released, creating a hardship for these institutions and the students they serve.

Increases in legislator compensation are given annually on Dec. 1, and are based on increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Quinn noted that the national economic conditions are so dismal that for the first time in more than 30 years, Social Security recipients will not be given a COLA by the federal government.

"If Pennsylvania’s elderly citizens are expected to go without a Social Security COLA this year, then lawmakers should be expected to do the same," said Quinn. "This is simply a reflection of today’s economy."