HARRISBURG-- Senate Democratic leader Robert Mellow isn't shy about pushing for a $10,000 raise for state legislators -- to take their pay up to $80,000 a year.
"A pay raise is warranted," he said yesterday. "People work very hard in this job. I work a full day Saturdays and a half day many Sundays. It's a seven-day-a-week job at this point. And we haven't had an actual pay raise since 1995."
Legislators currently earn $69,700 a year, up from $66,000 last year. They got a two-year cost of living adjustment in December, based on the rate of inflation in Philadelphia.
My first reaction when I read this was I thought he sounds like Terrel Owens when he was crying he didn't make enough to feed his family. I work on weekends too and I don't make what they make. I'm going to ask my boss if we can have a vote of the employees to give ourselves a raise.
But then someone pointing some things that melted my heart. The story of these people living in such appalling conditions right in my own back yard brought a tear to my eye. I will never look at Harrisburg the same way again.
The Halls of the Harrisburg Capitol Building. It is the worst alley in the worst slum in the poorest corner of this depressed state. Street-urchin style interns and staffers line the sides of the hall. Too undernourished and weak to move, they can only look on. No one is smiling. A fat, jovial man who resembles Santa Claus in khaki shorts walks through the crippling poverty, holding a middle-aged man in a $900 suit.
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