Shusterman authors legislation to prohibit annual cost-of-living adjustment for lawmakers

PAOLI, Aug. 4 -- State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will soon introduce both a resolution and a bill aiming to discourage or prevent lawmakers from collecting their annual cost-of-living adjustment for the next three years.

Shusterman’s bill seeks to amend the Public Official Compensation Law to prevent a cost-of-living adjustment for members and leaders of the General Assembly until 2023. Furthermore, her legislation would prevent a cost-of-living adjustment if, at any point in the previous year, the state unemployment rate was greater than 10%. Her resolution would urge members of the General Assembly to refuse a cost-of-living adjustment for the next three years under these same circumstances.

“Millions of Pennsylvanians have collected unemployment compensation since mid-March because of the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19, and many claimants encountered obstacles that severely delayed their payments,” Shusterman said. “Lawmakers cannot, in good faith, accept this payment while the people we represent and work for continue to struggle.”

Shusterman also introduced H.B. 385 in January 2019, which would suspend legislators’ pay in the event of an untimely budget.

“Our constituents would not be paid if they did not do their jobs, so legislators must be held to the same standard -- especially when so many people are struggling to make ends meet. We need to stand with our community members throughout this difficult time, not above them.”

More information is available by contacting Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260.