Sen. Kane: “People are struggling.” (Waterbury Republican-American)

January 23, 2015

Commission recommends pay raise for Malloy, other officials


HARTFORD — A state commission is recommending a 10 percent pay raise for Gov. Dannel
P. Malloy, the five other statewide officeholders and state legislators.

A pay raise does not appear in the offing, notwithstanding the recommendation from the Commission on the Compensation for Elected State Officers and General Assembly Members.

House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, ruled out the possibility, and Malloy is not backing pay raises, either, and the governor’s office also distanced itself from the independent commission’s recommendation.

Lawmakers and the six constitutional officers last received a raise 15 years ago.

The proposed 10 percent increase would raise the base salary for legislators from $28,000 to $30,800.

“That is not happening this year, given the budget realities,” Sharkey said. “Since there hasn’t been a raise in 15 years, I do, however, understand the commission’s perspective, particularly their recognition of the growing time commitment that legislators have to put in to represent the communities they serve.”

Sen. President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, also does not anticipate any plans to increase how much legislators are paid, said Adam Joseph, spokesman for Senate Democrats.

Sen. Robert A. Kane, R-Watertown, the ranking Senate Republican on the Appropriations Committee, also disagrees with the recommendation.

He said he could not justify a legislative pay raise now when many of the people lawmakers represent have been going without raises for a number of years now.

“I see it every day in my business in Waterbury. People are struggling,” said Kane, owner of KarTele Cellular Phones, an electronics store on Wolcott Street in Waterbury.

Malloy is currently paid $150,000, while Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Attorney General George Jepsen, Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Treasurer Denise Nappier are paid $110,000.

Malloy will not be pursuing a pay raise, said Devon Puglia, a spokesman for the governor.

“The governor’s office has nothing to do with the commission or its recommendations, and we will not be putting forward legislation in this regard this session,” he said.