Letter to the Editor: Diehl deserves credit for not backing pay raises for legislators

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To the Editor:

Who votes themselves a 40 percent pay increase?  The unfortunate answer is our legislature!

I want to make the point that last August 2016, many small (and large) businesses were not granted a tax free weekend, because the legislature emphasized that this tax free weekend in 2016 would create a greater deficit to the budget, and therefore, decided not to allow businesses to take advantage as done in the past.

Yet, five months later, the legislators and Statehouse insiders decided to give themselves an $18M pay raise without any regard to hard working taxpayers. This backdoor activity should not be allowed without taxpayers becoming part of the process. Who works for whom?

Thankfully, there is one legislator on the side of the taxpayers—Rep. Geoff Diehl.

Two years ago, Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg tried to pass these raises during a time when the legislature was not formally meeting. To block the pay raises, Rep. Geoff Diehl spent the month of December in the House chamber. This cost avoidance amounted to $38 million!  It is unfortunate that many more legislators did not have that courage or will power.

Rep. Geoff Diehl deserves immense credit in taking the initiative to put the taxpayers ahead of the State House insiders. At least we have someone with spine and backbone to address this way the legislature robs the taxpayers’ hard earned money.

Respectfully,

Ralph Belmore

Marlborough