Busch, Miller Urge Colleagues To Return $604.20
In a gesture of solidarity with soon-to-be-furloughed state employees, the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly have asked their members to give up a portion of their pay.
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced yesterday that most state employees would be required to take two to five unpaid days, depending on their salary level, to help relieve pressure on the state budget.
Under the Maryland Constitution, legislators cannot be forced to give up part of their pay during their term in office begins. So the requests from House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) are voluntary.
"We're asking all members of the General Assembly to step up and take the same furlough days as state employees," Busch, who announced his own intentions a few weeks ago, said in a joint news conference with Miller yesterday.
In a letter to his members, Miller "strongly" encourages his colleagues to give up the maximum five days of pay, which would translate into returning $604.20 to the state treasury. A form attached to the letter provides other options: one day at $120.84; two days at $241.68; three days at $362.52 or four days at $483.36.
"Given the severity of these economic times, I strongly believe it is both appropriate and fair for members of the General Assembly to accept a furlough consistent with the rest of state government," Miller wrote.
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