Just to Clarify

Dear Friends,
Recent media reports have failed to provide the full and accurate details pertaining to legislative salaries during the state shutdown which occurred earlier this summer.

Previous to the shutdown, we were asked how we wanted to handle our pay during a possible shutdown. Our choices were to defer the pay or continue to be paid. I opted to defer my pay. A large majority of legislators did not and continued to receive their regular pay.

I did not volunteer this information to anyone or try to use it politically in any way. After I said I wanted to defer my pay, I was asked, once the possible shutdown was over, if I wanted the pay for the time of the shutdown. I did not know how long a possible shutdown would last. I said I wanted to receive the salary I was due. My reasoning was that I continued to fulfill my obligations as a legislator by meeting with constituents, responding to inquiries, going to the Capitol, etc.  We were working, as were well over half of the workforce employed by the state.

However, I believed it wasn’t right to receive a paycheck if others were not able to work through no fault of their own. Approximately a week or two after the shutdown ended, I received pay for July. The recent reports are misleading: I haven’t now changed my mind and chosen to take the pay. I have always said I was deferring pay during the shutdown but thought I should receive the pay after it ended.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding about this.