Seven years later, some still outraged over late-night pay hikes for Pa. lawmakers

    Seven years have passed since Pennsylvania lawmakers voted themselves a pay raise and created a controversy that cost some of them their jobs.

    Some activists are trying to keep the outrage alive.

    “Most people have forgotten about this whole thing,” Tim Potts said.

    He has not. And his one-man government reform group Democracy Rising PA is marking the anniversary of the late-night legislative pay raise of 2005.

    Since then, there have been some reforms such as the rule that legislative sessions end at 11 at night.

    But Potts says that was in place before the pay raise — lawmakers just decided to start enforcing it again after the controversy.

    “You need laws. If you’re serious, you pass laws that can be enforced by somebody other than the people they apply to,” he said.

    Potts is calling for more reforms from candidates for House and Senate seats.

    This year, both chambers suspended the 11 p.m. curfew rule to finish up the state budget before midnight and vote on other bills before the traditional summer vacation.

    Every year since the late-night pay raise, Potts and another government reform activist have come to the Capitol to commemorate the act and the aftermath – not that it makes a great difference to voters, he says.

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