To the Editor:
Our early childhood development programs are in crisis; our Department of Children & Families (DCF) programs are in crisis; we have a desperate need for foster parents. We have children in the Commonwealth who are hungry. We have children in the Commonwealth who are homeless. We have an addiction crisis in the Commonwealth needing recovery programs and untold other resources.
We have critical health care needs in the Commonwealth where the push for Medicare for All needs to be legislated once and for all. Our schools and libraries are in constant and ongoing need of support. Programs supporting those suffering from domestic violence and rape need increased support. Poverty in the Commonwealth just cannot be ignored. And the most vulnerable are the ones who really suffer, the majority of whom are women, girls and children.
And the Legislature gives itself an $18,000,000 raise.
And the Legislature gives itself an $18,000,000 raise without a public hearing.
And the Legislature gives itself an $18,000,000 raise effective immediately without even waiting until after the next election to take effect.
And the Legislature gives itself an $18,000,000 raise to include the judiciary so as to give the appearance of bypassing scrutiny and supposedly allows the actions taken to appear legitimate.
No one ought to be making a career out of what is supposed to be public service.
No one ought to be legislating raises without public input.
No one ought to be legislating better pay and benefits for themselves while being part of the Legislature…It appears to be an outrageous conflict of interest.
I will not forget:
Every legislator who voted for this egregious and greedy pay raise and plan to work against any candidate who had the audacity to support the raise, despite the Governor’s veto;
Every legislator who overrode the Governor’s veto.
As so many of us want to see a democracy of representative government where everyone participates, this pay raise flagrantly displays so much of what is severely wrong in the absence of representation of the most vulnerable in our country.
The Legislature needs to repeal this raise. If any raises are to be approved, there needs to be a structure for incremental increases and separation of the groups that receive those raises done on a one-by-one basis.
Inequity is running rampant.
Rachel I. Branch
999 Massachusetts Ave.
North Adams, Mass.