State Rep. Terry Boose, R-Norwalk, recently introduced House Bill 41, which would cut the salaries for members of the Ohio General Assembly as well as elected executive officeholders by 5 percent.
If approved, the decrease would take effect upon the election or re-election of affected officeholders, per the Ohio Constitution. The bill also would include a sunset provision that would rescind the salary reduction if Ohio’s gross domestic product increases two out of three years by 2.5 percent or more.
According to Boose’s office, the bill would not affect elected county officials.
“During these tough economic times, elected officials must lead by example,” Boose said in a statement. “Many of our constituents have lost their jobs or had their salaries reduced. Further, the state and many local governments are having difficulties balancing budgets. We should do our part by taking a 5 percent pay cut until the state’s economy turns around.”
The legislation met with mixed results among local representatives.
State Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, said he sees the bill as “purely symbolic.”
“It basically would be a savings of about 2/1000ths of 1 percent of the general fund,” Ramos said. State legislators earn about $60,500 per year.
“If we’re going to start running (state government) like a business, we can’t just do things that are window dressing. I wasn’t elected to do these types of gestures,” Ramos said, adding the measure was unlikely to create jobs or help the state’s deficit.
Ramos’s colleague, Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, had the opposite view: He said he would support the measure if it came to a vote. Lundy said he voted to pass a similar measure in the House last year, and the House approved it, but it was voted down by the Senate.
“If we’re able to get it to the floor to vote, I would be supportive. A lot of Ohioans and Lorain Countians are struggling,” Lundy said. “There are a lot of workers who are taking reductions in pay and I’m ready to do that again.”
Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (440) 329-7144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.