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Conservative Reform Network

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Conservative Reform Network

The Newsletter for Independent, Conservative Political Activists

In This Issue

Conservative Reform Network
COLA Raises
Rescinding COLA Act 51 of 1995
ChesCO: Where are YOU?

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Please enjoy this issue which focuses on Cost of Living Adjustment.

There are about 84,000 state employees. The average state worker (those covered in the collective bargaining agreements) earns roughly $60,000/year. That makes a payroll of about $5 billion. While Governor Rendell's pay freeze (on the 2.5% increases for 14,000 non-union state workers) would save $14 million, we think there are better things to cut. An arbitrary pay cut on real people (especially one which punishes a certain class of workers) isn't the best way to solve the budget crisis - especially when it is during the same week that Governor Rendell is announcing millions in grants for skiing, golfing and snowmobiling

You can view more posts on my blog.

Return Cost of Living Raises

House Democratic Leadership who, respectively, control the legislative agenda as well as the Governor and executive branch officials and even highly paid administrators in Pennsylvania Higher Education System have agreed to forego COLA increases for 2009 (note that House Republican Leadership is also in sync). The next step REPEAL ACT 51 of 1995.

The Senate Republicans who have a clear and controlling majority 30 to 20 have the opportunity to lead and rescind the COLA automatic pay raise legislation. In the House where the Democrats have the majority, Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith has proposed legislation as well to repeal Act 51 of 1995. Most of the career elected officials, however, have gotten comfortable with automatic pay increases - no votes, no publicity, just more taxpayer money. They have forgotten the Forgotten Taxpayer who does not get COLA increases to his or her income or pension. Most employees have to negotiate with their employers for more money and, usually, it is based on some kind of productivity

Read more From Senator Mike Folmer's weekly Mike's Memo

Rescinding COLA Act 51 of 1995

Representative Metcalfe lays out the case against House Democratic Leadership on rejecting COLAs for 2009 but not rescinding the enabling legislation. Representative Metcalfe is correct, in my opinion, in pointing out the inconsistency although a more partisan view than is justified.

The Republicans passed Act 51 in 1995 when Rs had the House, the Senate and Executive. And current House Republican leadership has not taken lead in rescinding Act 51 0f 1995.

It is important to remember the Forgotten Taxpayer who pays for the increases which the elected then gives to his or her favorite charity. There is no money actually returned to the Treasury to deal with one to two billion dollar tax revenue shortfall or returned to the Forgotten Taxpayer.

The Senate Republican Leadership, the majority in the Senate, and the House Democratic Leadership, the majority in the House., agree that COLA increases for 2009 are inappropriate.

One Democratic House Member and one Republican House member advocate repealing the COLA Act 51 of 1995.

Chester County: Where are you on COLA?

RINO Republican Rep Duane Milne, RINO Republicans Republican Rep. Chris Ross and Republican Representative Tim Hennessey- What is their position on COLAs? And the legislation that Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith is introducing to repeal Act 51 of 1995. Representative McIlvaine Smith, like Representatives Drucker, Houghton and Senator Dinniman, all Democrats, has contributed her COLA to Charity. Likewise, Senate Republican Leader Dominic Pileggi has promised not to take this year's COLA. Sen. Rafferty?

The COLA was enacted in 1995 when Republicans held the majority in General Assembly and Governor was Republican.

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