REP. WARD PROBES SPEAKER SCOTT SAIKI ABOUT UNCONSCIONABLE LEGISLATOR PAY RAISES
News Release from Office of Rep Gene Ward, April 9, 2021
HONOLULU, HI – Representative Gene Ward sent Speaker of the House, Scott Saiki, a letter probing for an update/check on the status of the pay raises for legislators that were deferred last year pursuant to Act 2, Session laws of Hawaii 2020.
In 2019, the State Salary Commission approved a 10% increase beginning January 1, 2021 for legislators, with an additional 2.5% increase beginning each subsequent year for three years. In the 2020 legislative session (Act 2, Session Laws of Hawaii 2020), it was agreed that the raises would be deferred – due primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, until July 1, 2021.
Legislators accepting a pay raise at this time would be unconscionable. People are out of work, businesses are dying, and politicians giving themselves a raise would be a slap in the face to Hawaii's families. Especially during a pandemic where many of Hawaii's families are struggling.
Time is running out for the legislature to postpone the pay raises slated to go into effect July 1, 2021. Speaker Saiki and Senate President Kochi have until April 28 (Adjournment Day) to rectify the situation if they so desire.
PDF: Letter to Saiki