Kortz supports freeze on cost of living adjustments for legislators, state officials

HARRISBURG, May 26 – State public officials – including lawmakers – should not be granted a cost-of-living adjustment at this time, due to the financial toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on Pennsylvanians, said state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny.

Kortz said he voted for H.B. 2487, which would amend the state’s public official compensation law to put a freeze on COLAs through 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for public officials. The bill passed unanimously in the House today.

“There’s no reason why public officials should receive a COLA when so many across our state are struggling, which is exacerbated by the fact that Governor Wolf’s unemployment offices are six to eight weeks behind in getting folks their UC checks,” Kortz said. “Our communities and residents have been through enormous financial challenges in the last 12 weeks, and many continue to struggle, especially when businesses remain closed or have curtailed their operations, and people are left unable to work and provide for their families.”

In addition to all legislators, Kortz added the measure would also freeze COLAs for the following offices and positions: governor, lieutenant governor, state auditor general, state attorney general, state treasurer, commissioners of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and heads of state departments.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.