Lawmaker pay should be tied to median income

(You can vote on this issue on right hand side of this webpage)Watchdog
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Lawmakers should be paid a common man’s salary based on the median Oregon salary — this way they can say they get paid what most Oregonians get paid. This is our response to Oregonian’s headline article today about lawmakers using campaign funds to pay basic expenses. What do you expect when Oregon lawmakers only make $1,800 a month? Low salary disadvantages rural lawmakers (over urban) because they have to travel great distances.

Taxpayers want a citizen legislature, and you can’t get “normal” citizens to run for office if they can’t afford it. When you are involved in candidate recruitment you see it all the time that quality people look at the time and money costs and see it as impossible. Currently, the system favors the higher income, lawyers and government employees. Term limits is the other half of the citizen legislature model. Term limits also keeps lawmakers from making a career out of the same seat.

If I thought by paying lawmakers less or nothing would make it easier to for them to handle Oregon’s biennial budget of around $60 billion — I would do it in an instant. Instead, I believe it takes more than a part-time person to handle this budget beast.

By tying lawmaker salaries to Oregonian’s wages, it means if our income goes down — so does theirs. They only get a raise if we do.

Do you agree? PLEASE VOTE on this on our Catalyst poll (on the right hand column of this webpage).  The Taxpayer Association welcomes your feedback and input.