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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, December 8, 2022
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The Salaries That Raise Eyebrows

Dear Source:

On the matter of legislative salaries which were raised in a lame duck session this week, it is a shame that legislators did not act in pre-election times so that the issue could have been treated by voters as a referendum. When legislators are afraid that there would be adverse reaction from the public, they pass such legislation after an election. Legislators know from history, that the public's memory is short and the matter will be soon forgotten. Unquestionably. The salaries of the Governor and Lt. Governor should be raised, because their salaries were stymied during some tough budgetary times a few years ago.
But hiking legislators' salaries from $65,000 to $85,000 is not justified. A $5,000 raise would have been more reasonable. Legislators in the second most populated in the nation (New York) receive a salary of $79,500; New Jersey legislators receive $49,000 per annum to New Mexico where legislators receive no salary; instead they receive per diem of $146.00 per day when in session. What more will Virgin Islands legislators do next session that they have not done? Will there be a higher quality of legislation? How will the people benefit?
It is believed that the $20,000 raise for legislators was the sweetening of the pot to assure the raises for the Governor and Lt. Governor.
The incoming legislature should act upon legislation, which in effect says that no salary raises shall be enacted for all three branches of the government in a post-election period. The Governor with the help of the legislature has pulled the equivalent of a midnight massacre on the people.

Eric E. Dawson
Viera, Fla.

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