Monday, October 31, 2011

Whew, Walker and Kleefisch got their raises just in time!

While everyone else took huge hits on their government paychecks, Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch got raises. So did a few others. Guess that'll make up for the higher benefits contributions, and then some. 

CapTimes: Before Scott Walker was sworn into office as governor in January, he managed to get the state to turn back federal funds to expand high-speed rail in Wisconsin and the Legislature to vote against approval of 18-month-old state union contracts.

But while these positions were vocalized on the grounds they would save money for a state that was "broke," Walker did not take any action to turn down a pay increase set to take effect when he took office.

The pay increases for the state's six constitutional offices, approved by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle in 2009, increased the next governor's salary by 5 percent, allowing Walker to earn $144,423, compared to Doyle's $137,092.

Tim Lundquist, a spokesman with the state Department of Administration, in an email (said) "If elected officials wish to do so, they can return the increase, or any amount of their paycheck for that matter, to the state." Walker didn't. Neither did the other five constitutional officers, either those re-elected or those first elected to office by Jan. 1.

Consequently, on Jan. 1, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen went from earning $133,033 to $140,147. Besides Walker, newly elected officers Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and State Treasurer Kurt Schuller are receiving the higher salaries. Kleefisch earns $76,261, up from $72,394; and Schuller earns 68,556, up from $65,079.

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