Senator Boucher Takes Voluntary Salary Reduction

April 2, 2009

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) will take a voluntary ten percent reduction in her legislative pay through the end of the calendar year.

“I was disappointed when the General Assembly rejected our proposal to require pay cuts for all legislators as part of the deficit mitigation plan we passed early this year. Fortunately, though, we have been informed that legislators can decide on their own to request pay cuts. I feel strongly I should set an example for our state bargaining units that must come to the table to help Connecticut taxpayers during this difficult time,” said Senator Boucher, a member of the General Assembly’s Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee.

“If we ask them to consider a wage freeze or concessions, we should be willing to take them ourselves,” added Senator Boucher.

Senator Boucher said she has been speaking with constituents who are out of work, who have taken pay cuts, or fear they will lose their jobs in the near future. She said that Connecticut citizens need to see that the people they elect to represent them in the General Assembly understand what they are experiencing.

“We were elected to be leaders. In this situation, that means leading by example. People are being forced to sacrifice in their personal lives and, unless our economy turns around in the very near future, more sacrifice will be required of all of us. By taking a voluntary cut in my legislative pay now, I hope that my constituents realize that I am on their side,” said Senator Boucher.

Fairfield County experienced low unemployment numbers that were the envy of the Northeast only a short time ago, Senator Boucher noted. The unemployment rate in Connecticut is now 7.4 percent, according to the February report issued by the state Department of Labor. According to the state Department of Labor, the state lost 14,300 jobs in February, bringing the loss of Connecticut jobs over the past six months to nearly 45,000.

“We feel the effects of our national downturn more acutely due to the high number of jobs connected to Wall Street or the financial service industry. People are feeling the pinch and they are looking to us to do the best we can for them. Connecticut people are strong, capable and committed however, and I have no doubt that we will bounce back once the economy turns around,” said Senator Boucher.