Sunday, July 17, 2005

Lawmakers plenty happy to ride on judges' salaries - Robison: Lawmakers plenty happy to ride on judges' salaries: "THE Democrats were in charge when the Legislature years ago came up with the idea of tying lawmakers' retirement benefits to the salaries of state district judges. But the linkage has struck a rare bipartisan (albeit dubious) chord of harmony during these mostly contentious days of GOP control.

Democrats and Republicans alike now anticipate the promise of a richer 'deferred compensation' package, and lawmakers of both political persuasions are equally adept at washing their hands of something they claim — wink, wink — is out of their control.

The handwashing, however, doesn't wash.

If the House and the Senate reach agreement during this special session on a final judicial pay raise bill, with their increased retirement benefits intact, it will be because most legislators wanted it to happen.

Lawmakers' protests that they were powerless to separate their retirement pay from judges' salaries, as some were claiming last week after the House and the Senate had advanced separate pay raise measures, would have been more believable if someone actually had tried."


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