Georgia senators seek legislative pay cut amid budget pain
ATLANTA - Georgia state lawmakers could see their pay cut by 11% under a proposal advancing in the state Senate.
Senators voted 43-3 on Tuesday to pass House Bill 1094, sending it back to the House for more debate.
As now written, the bill would cut lawmakers’ yearly salary of more than $17,350 by 11% in the budget year beginning July 1. Lawmakers would still get their full daily expense pay. Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s pay of nearly $92,000 a year would be cut by 14%.
“It is making a statement that we’re all in this together,” said state Sen. Jeff Mullis, a Chickamauga Republican who earlier presented a bill to study raising salaries.
Mullis said the pay cut could leave more money to pay legislative staffers.
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Lawmakers say they want to give up part of their pay to show they are sharing in the suffering of state agencies, K-12 schools, universities and others that are likely to face 10% budget cuts after state tax revenue fell during the coronavirus pandemic.
Duncan publicly volunteered to take the cut earlier, when budget reductions were pegged at 14%.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Blake Tillery, a Vidalia Republican, has said that House budget negotiators have agreed, in general, to cut spending in their chamber. Representatives have yet to take a vote on a direct pay cut to themselves, though. Lawmakers are expected to wrap up talks on spending nearly $26 billion in state revenue by Friday.
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