As the House and the Senate get ready to approve the more than $700 million state employee concession package at least one lawmakers thinks legislators should make a similar sacrifice.
While more than two dozen lawmakers have already voluntarily given up a portion of their salaries or worked a day or two without pay, Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said he wants to do whatever the state employees are doing.
Most of the state employees agreed to a wage freeze this year, in addition to reductions in health care and pension benefits. Click here to read more about the union concession package.
Lawlor said he doesn’t know how much of a cut he would be receiving, but he wants to make a sacrifice similar to that of state workers.
“Why shouldn’t we do the exact same thing?” Lawlor wondered.
He said he would find it hard to justify asking state employees to make a sacrifice without making one of his own.
He said he’s embarrassed when he goes to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and pays just $3. Under the new State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition agreement co-pays on generic prescriptions would be going up to $5.
“To the greatest extent possible, my wages and benefits should include the same level of sacrifice as all state employees are being asked to make in this difficult budget environment,” Lawlor said in his letter to the executive director of Legislative Management. Lawlor copied all 187 lawmakers in his letter, so if they wanted to participate they could.
Some lawmakers have voluntarily taken 5 to 10 percent salary cuts, while some like Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, has taken five unpaid days.
Republican lawmakers early in the legislative session attempted to get all lawmakers to reduce their salaries by 10 percent. The