Back in the fall, a group of political cronies appointed by lawmakers voted to give Oklahoma lawmakers an astronomical, and completely undeserved, 35-percent pay raise.
Now that our state, like the rest of the country, is facing an astronomical economic hurdle due to the pandemic, you’d logically think that pay raise would be postponed, reneged or at least saved for more deserving people, like the tens of thousands of Oklahomans who have yet to receive their unemployment checks.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma is dark, demented place where logical thought goes to die. Via News9:
OKLAHOMA CITY – This week the state House of Representatives is expected to vote on a budget proposal that includes 4% cuts to most agencies. At the same time, legislators are gearing up for a 35% pay raise…
Last October, the Legislative Compensation Board; a five-member board appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, approved the raise increasing pay for legislators from $35,000 a year to $47,500 in November. It’s the first pay raise for the legislature in 20-years.
Fun fact – one of the people on the Legislative Compensation Board is News 9 political “pundit” Scott Mitchell. He’s a fair and impartial journalist… who just happens to accept advertising dollars from the people he voted to give a pay raise, too:
Local political "pundit" Scott Mitchell (@mitchelltalks) is one of the hacks who voted to give lawmakers an unprecedented 35% pay raise. One of the recipients of that raise – House majority leader @jonechols – just happens to advertise on Mitchell's website. pic.twitter.com/rSS9GoBqmM
— thelostogle (@TheLostOgle) October 19, 2019
Anyway, although they’ve already been given the pay raise, it should be pretty easy to take it back, right? The answer is “No.”
“My concern with all the revenue shortfall that we have going on it’s difficult to explain to the public that the legislature as of November 2020 is going to get a $12,000 raise,” said Senator Ron Sharp (R) Shawnee.
“Legal staff has informed me that as a constitutionally created board they have the constitutional power to allow this pay increase and there’s really nothing we can do,” Sharp said. “All legal staff has informed me that this would be unconstitutional for me to try to stop it statutorily when it’s a constitutional created board.”
The legislature controls the purse strings though, so we asked Sharp if the legislature could just refuse to fund the raises?
“That is not what we are being informed. Anything that is constitutionally created we have to fund, just like the Medicaid expansion,” Sharp said.
I have an idea. Is there a way we can make it look like Democrats or Bill Gates or Mexicans or Dr. Fauci are behind the pay raise? If so, I bet our lawmakers will figure a way to stop it pretty fast.