Lawmakers rejecting raises in Compensation Commission report

By Michelle Provencher 8:27pm, January 16, 2013 - Updated 11:23am, January 17, 2013
A majority of Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly agree that now is not the time to approve pay raises.

More than 50 of the 62 legislators are backing House Resolution 2, to be introduced Thursday. The resolution shoots down a 6% salary increase for judiciary members and up to 9% raises for members of Governor Markell's cabinet.

These recommended raises were not to take effect until after Fiscal Year 2014.

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach) says it's difficult to plan for the years ahead -- especially approve future raises -- "given our economic uncertainty."

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) says passing the Delaware Compensation Commission's recommendations would be "fiscally irresponsible" given the four recession-era taxes, which sunset this year.

Salary increases ranged from 9% to 20% in 2005, but in 2009 the commission recognized the economic downturn and didn't include any raises in their review.

The quadrennial salary report has only been stricken down once since the Delaware Compensation Commission's inception in 1984.

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