Mississippi Senate Passes Salary Reduction Bill

The Mississippi Senate voted to lower lawmaker salaries by 10 percent in light of the state's budget shortfall. First-term state Sen. Giles Ward, a Republican representing Winston, Neshoba and Leake counties, introduced the bill.

The measure passed 39 to 2. It would affect senators, state representatives, the speaker of the House and the lieutenant governor.

“The only difference between these individuals (state employees) and ourselves is that we are in the unique position of exempting ourselves from salary cuts. I submit to you that is not a valid reason. Meager as our salaries may be, we should lead the way and demonstrate to our state employees, school teachers, and taxpayers that we truly understand the problem and are not going to be guilty of saying ‘do as we say’ rather than ‘do as we do’,” Ward said.

Ward said, If adopted, the measure would represent an annual savings of more than $200,000 including Social Security and retirement contributions.

“In these tough economic times the legislature should tighten its belt just as families and businesses all over Mississippi are doing,” said Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. “I believe as a public servant you should lead by example and that is exactly what we did today.”

The reduction would go into effect Jan. 1, 2011. The Mississippi Constitution prohibits a reduction in salary for legislators during the current session.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.

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  • by teacher Location: mississippi on Feb 11, 2010 at 12:37 PM
    I admire them for this first step. They also need to reduce their expense accounts and avoid special sessions. Thank you for taking this step.
  • by you are so right MM Location: Mississippi on Feb 11, 2010 at 06:03 AM
    You are so right, if they were required to do their jobs on time like the rest of us, that would save so much money. Also, if they had to pay for their own family health insurance. State employees have state health insurance through BCBS but must pay for their families. The House and Senate have their children on the CHIPS health insurance that is designed to help low income families.
  • by Rodney Location: Jackson on Feb 10, 2010 at 05:34 PM
    Actually, this reduction will guarantee a ten percent pay cut to lawmakers, so even if they have a special session, there will still be enough savings to cover the salaries of about ten teachers. It's a start!
  • by mm Location: county on Feb 10, 2010 at 01:08 PM
    The true savings will be in no paid "SPECIAL SESSIONS". Reducing pay, then having a few special sessions and they are right back where the salaries were before the cut. Hope they don't think we the taxpayers don't notice these sessions!!
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