Williams' amendment would "reduce the per diem compensation paid to legislators during the 2011 session by an amount equivalent to the reduction in employee compensation costs achieved under this act for the average legislative employee." In his Feb. 5 Legislative Update, Williams wrote:
"So while a financial industry that taxpayers bailed out resumes showering record bonuses upon executives, we’re to somehow blame our state’s budget shortfall on . . . state employees in charge of child support enforcement? Mental health nurses? Community corrections officers? Audiologists at the School for the Deaf? Custodians? Social workers? Those processing unemployment claims? Community college professors? If politicians choose to pile more hardship onto the working-class families in my district, they should take some responsibility upon themselves."
Most folks don't realize that legislative staff voluntarily took furloughs last year to prevent layoffs, and now SB 6503 imposes even more furloughs on them [See Sec. 2(e)]. Legislators themselves can't be furloughed because the state constitution requires their salaries to be set by an independent commission, which is why Williams proposes reducing per diem. It's not "salary." -- Dennis