Most state lawmakers elect not to cut own pay

first_imgOLYMPIA (AP) — The Legislature cut most state workers’ pay by 3 percent this year, but few lawmakers have taken pay cuts themselves, despite crafting legal language that encourages them and statewide officials to scale back their paychecks.Four House members — out of 147 Senate and House lawmakers — have elected to cut their own pay, The Olympia reported in Sunday’s newspaper.“You know, not everyone can afford to take a pay cut. I’m just really glad that I can,” said Rep. Ann Rivers, a first-term Republican from La Center, who works as a public affairs consultant and elected to cut her $42,106 salary by 3 percent. She called it “a very personal decision” and said that after voting to cut public employees’ pay, she felt it was wrong not to reduce hers.The three other lawmakers cutting their pay are Democratic Reps. Frank Chopp, Larry Seaquist and Troy Kelley; each is taking a cut of 5 percent or more. A few state officials are donating money to charity or scholarships instead of waiving pay. As of Friday, Gov. Chris Gregoire, state Treasurer Jim McIntire and state schools superintendent Randy Dorn were the only statewide elected officers to have signed up for pay waivers.For Gregoire, whose base pay is $166,891, that’s a $5,007 cut. She also donates the amount of a pay raise that the state salary commission gave her in 2009, spokesman Cory Curtis said, adding that she is taking the cuts to lead by example.last_img