My Side of the Fence

The danger isn't going too far. It's that we don't go far enough.

Automatic Raises?

I was out tooling around the local blog scene when I ran into this post over on Too Conservative.  It mentions this bill from the House of Delegates in lovely Richmond.  The bill is the model of simplicity, which I appreciate.  No burying the intent of the bill deep down in subpart “b” of chapter “s” here.  The bill simply says that if the General Assembly enacts a pay raise for state staff that members of the GA get the same raise.  No extra votes required.  Interestingly, every member of the House of Delegates voted for this thing….safety in numbers?

This may not seem like a big deal but, here in Manassas, if the Council wants a raise we have to make a motion and approve it seperately.  There is no automatic increase.  The GA should be doing the same thing.  Automatic raises doesn’t seem so conservative to me.

Pay and politicians has always been a bit of a sticky wicket, at least for me.  Frankly, I’ve seriously considered putting Council salaries on the “open items” list this year and may do just that.  The argument for pay has normally been along the lines of “it’s a stipend” or “it should pay something” or “only rich people will do it”.  I’m not so sure I agree.  I don’t know that having folks make a career in politics is the best thing.  Our current results certainly aren’t that promising…Certainly elected folks who incur expenses in the course of their duties should be reimbursed but a paycheck?  Dunno.

Coffee Friday!


  1. Andy,

    I have to agree with you. The richmond guys will say they had to vote so that the state employees received a raise…. It’s not about us.

    Any one of them could have pulled their increase From this bill but apparently failed to do so. This way they have some cover for their vote.

  2. What also bothers me about the Richmond Kiddies is Virginia received $69million from the Mortgage Settlement Funds Agreement. Instead of that going to boost up the Virginia Housing Partnership Revolving Fund (State Code 36.142 but gets little to no annual funding), instead in the draft budget so far it is being used to balance the budget by giving State-employees a one-time bonus and sending Aide to Localities.

    Now, both of the draft ideas are good, but both have nothing to do with housing. If that funding was put into the HPRF, then the City could seek funding for a project such as Wildwood Condos where 85% of the residents are fixed-income & either elderly or disabled or both.

    Instead, let’s balance the budget with it and claim we are doing a great job by using funds to do it that were not intended for that purpose.

  3. “The 49 states will receive immediate payments of roughly $3.5 billion to help fund consumer protection and state foreclosure protection programs.”

    Can’t say Virginia is using the money according to how they are supposed to use it, according to Ray!

  4. A unanimous vote, you say? Not suprising, and though the legislators’ salaries are not overly large to begin with, I’d think someone would say ‘hey, are we really doing such a good job that we need a raise?’ Merit pay anyone?

    While the state continues to lessen their contributions to localities, while shifting responsibilities to the locals, how can they defend paying themselves more? The shell games they’ve been playing in recent years are only even possible because of our proximity to the federal seat of government and defense spending in the Southeast.

    Our AG has no problem sniffing out old, phantom waste at UVA, but this passes his smell test?

  5. Steve Randolph

    March 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

    No salary increase this year for Virginia Senators and Delegates.

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