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Tue, Oct. 22

Letter: Lawmakers deserve no pay increase

EDITOR:

Proposition 300 is back again to ask that you vote to raise your legislators pay from $24,000 to $30,000 per year.

What you might not know is that each legislator receives between $35 and $60 per day tax free for per diem. Yes, all Maricopa County legislators, even legislators who walk to the State Capitol receive the $35. Rural legislators receive the $60.

So, for their 100 day-part time position, they already receive between $27,500 and $30,000. Based on 800 hours per session (100 days x 8 hours per day) their hourly wage is $34.38 for those living in Maricopa County and $37.50 for rural legislators.

This is the equivalent of working a full-time job of 2,080 hours at $71,510 local or $78,000 rural.

The position is supposed to be part-time ... 100 days or less. Proponents who want to see lawmakers' salaries increased suggest paying them more will "help achieve a true Citizen Legislature and make running for office more viable for more of our fellow Arizonans." (Ballot prop publicity pamphlet)

If you believe the legislature has performed effectively, even though our state is nearly bankrupt with huge deficits, vote for their performance pay.

If, however, you believe winning election to a legislative position is a civic minded contribution and not a career, vote "no."

Terry Hemmen

Chino Valley

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