PRESS RELEASE Senate Minority Office
TIME FOR A VOTE ON PAY RAISES
STATE HOUSE, Providence, RI – Today, for the second time in barely a 6-month span, the Department of Administration conducted a hearing on Governor McKee’s request for pay raises for his cabinet directors. In September, Governor McKee initially proposed raises of up to 43% for his cabinet but scaled back the amounts after facing criticism. Now, the Governor is looking to raise salaries once again to bring directors closer to his original targeted salary increases.
“What has changed since September?” questioned Senate Minority Leader Jessica de la Cruz. “Inflation is still stifling the ability of Rhode Island taxpayers to make ends meet. Average Rhode Islanders can anticipate more staggering energy price hikes, increased interest rates have failed to cool demand for housing and have made home ownership more out of reach for many, and now the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history is adding to economic uncertainty. But the Governor is still focused on raising salaries of highly paid political appointees.”
The McKee Administration defends these double-digit pay increases by comparing Rhode Island’s department directors’ salaries to those in other states. Senate Minority Whip Gordon Rogers responded, “Should we not also compare Rhode Island’s budget, population, and government effectiveness to those in other states? The Governor’s proposed budget increased despite his campaign rhetoric that it would not. And average hard-working Rhode Islanders are left to pay the price.”
“The Senate Minority caucus has submitted several pieces of legislation to return money to the taxpayers. Each of those proposals have been met with the question of how does the state make up the cost of revenue,” stated Leader de la Cruz. “Items that increase spending, such as substantial pay raises for top employees, warrant the same amount of scrutiny.”