FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2011
Contact: State Rep. Greg Lavelle, (302) 478-6128
FOR THE 7TH YEAR IN A ROW, STATE REP. GREG LAVELLE AGAIN
DONATES HIS PAY RAISE TO LOCAL CHARITIES
Rep. Lavelle also takes the opportunity to draw attention to the need to reform
the system by which Delaware lawmakers receive salary hikes
As he’s done every year since 2005, when state legislators received a pay raise without having to cast a vote for it, State Representative Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley) is donating his salary hike to charity. The seventh allotment since he started the practice, his total contributions now exceed $25,000.
“Aside from benefiting the worthy work of some very good nonprofit 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.
“While happily living up to my commitment on this issue, I also take this opportunity to put a bug in the ear of Speaker Gilligan and Majority Leader Schwarztkopf that House Bill 159, which would reform this system, is awaiting a hearing in the House Administration Committee. I note for the record that House rules require a bill to have a hearing within 12 legislative days of being introduced. As June 30th was the 12th day, I’ll look forward to the hearing when we return in January.”
“I believe this is wrong and I’ve repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, sponsored legislation to make the commission’s report non-binding,” Rep. Lavelle said.
An effort two years ago, House Bill 55, died on the House Ready List after languishing in the House Administration Committee for 15 months. Like House Bill 159, House Bill 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.
“There is no striking out on this issue. The next compensation commission report will follow the 2012 general election. I’ll continue to work 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.
This year’s charitable contributions will be split among six organizations that serve the community: the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children; the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation; the Claymont Community Center; the Claymont Historical Society; Cancer Support Community Delaware (formerly The Wellness Community); and the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.