From the Marblehead Reporter:
Thu Jan 08, 2009, 02:32 PM EST
Marblehead - State Rep. Lori A. Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, will donate the entirety of her 5.5 percent raise for the 2009-2010 legislative session to organizations in her district that have been affected by state budget cuts, her office announced Thursday.
Under a state law approved by voters in 1998, lawmakers’ pay rises or falls every two years in sync with the state’s median household income. This year’s increase would lift lawmakers’ base pay from $58,237 to $61,440, an increase of just over $3,200 a year.
The law requires the governor to determine the change to the household income at the start of each two-year legislative session, which for the 2009-2010 session was Wednesday, leading to the announcement from Gov. Deval Patrick’s office.
Ehrlich said she made the decision to donate her raise due to the current state of the economy.
“With about 6 percent of Massachusetts residents unemployed, and businesses, organizations and families struggling, every little bit helps,” said Ehrlich. “Instead of turning down the raise and sending it back to the state’s general fund, I would prefer to put that money back to work in my district by supporting the organizations that feed, educate and care for those who are struggling during this time of financial difficulty.”
Ehrlich, who represents Marblehead, Swampscott and a part of Lynn, is donating to groups that have a direct impact on her district. The $3,200 will be split among the Marblehead Food Pantry, Swampscott Food Pantry, My Brother’s Table, Friends of Lynn and Nahant Beach, Aging in Place-Lynn, Marblehead Council on Aging, Swampscott Council on Aging, Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools and Swampscott Public Schools revolving fund.