Residents Slam Proposed Pay Raise for Mass. Lawmakers

A roughly 70-percent raise for two of the top lawmakers in Massachusetts has some residents crying foul.

The proposal before the state legislature would grant pay increases to Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

"That seems absolutely ridiculous," said Kevin Hanley of Allston.

"I think it's too much," agreed Edda Jones of Dorchester.

But the Special Advisory Commission tasked with examining the pay for public officials says top Bay State officials haven't received a pay raise since the 90s, calling it long overdue.

"If we kick the can down the road, we're only making things more difficult to resolve in the future," said Public Compensation Commission Chair Ira Jackson.

The Commission compared 2014 salaries of positions like the governor, attorney general and secretary of state with comparable private sector jobs and similar government positions in other states.

"We could find no justification for the position of house speaker and senate president earning considerably less than other constitutional offices," said Jackson.

But it doesn't sit well with many taxpayers.

"I'm pretty sure the cafeteria manager at a high school hasn't gotten a raise for a while, either, and they're making a lot less," said Claire Boyle of Allston.

"It seems like they're putting themselves in front of the working people," said Bernie Smith of Walpole.

"You have all these people fighting for $15, and meanwhile, you have rich people getting richer," said Megan Hill of Roxbury. "I think that's ridiculous."

The current proposal would require the legislature to absorb the costs of the pay raises and not pass on the increase to taxpayers.

NBC Boston reached out to both the senate president and house speaker and we were told they were both unavailable for interviews.

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