The following press release was issued by Rep. Greg Lavelle earlier today. It notes the number of bills that have languished in the General Assembly to fix the problem of no-vote pay raises for members of the General Assembly. Is it any wonder that these bills have died in the State Senate? You’d think that since the Senate Leadership only includes double-dippers — Sens. DeLuca (Department of Labor), Blevins ($500,000 from taxpayers funneled to the quasi-governmental Delaware Helpline that includes her salary), & Henry (Del Tech), that they’d have a bit less arrogance about raising their pay without voting on it.
State Rep. Donates More Than $20,000 of Pay Raises to Charities
For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 12, 2010
For More Information, Contact: State Rep. Greg Lavelle
As he’s done every year since 2005, when state legislators received a pay raise without having to cast a vote for it, State Rep. Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley) is donating his salary hike to charity. The sixth allotment since he started the practice, his total contributions now exceed $20,000.
“Aside from benefiting the worthy work of some very good non-profit groups, this action is intended to call attention to an ethically-challenged system that allows legislators to receive a raise without having to be held accountable for the decision,” Rep. Lavelle said.
Established in 1984, the Delaware Compensation Commission reviews the salaries of top legislative, judicial and executive branch officials every four years and issues recommendations. This report automatically becomes law unless lawmakers intervene to stop it.
“I believe this is wrong and I’ve repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, sponsored legislation to make the commission’s report non-binding,” Rep. Lavelle said.
The most recent attempt, House Bill 55, died on the House Ready List after languishing in the House Administration Committee for 15 months. Also sponsored by Sen. Karen Peterson (D-Stanton), HB 55 sought to remove the autonomous mandate on the commission’s recommendations and make the report advisory in nature.
Nearly identical legislation was passed by the House of Representatives during the 144th General Assembly and the 143rd General Assembly as House Bill 2 and House Bill 48, respectively. Both of those bills died bottled-up in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I’ll continue to try to convince my colleagues to pay high-ranking state officials in the same fashion as we pay other state employees, through the state budget that’s voted on by the General Assembly,” Rep. Lavelle said. “Until that happens, I’ll continue to donate my raises.”
This year’s charitable contributions will be split among six organizations that serve the community: the B+ Foundation; the Claymont Community Center; Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation; the Parent Information Center of Delaware; Reach Academy for Girls; and the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.