BLUE STATE UPDATE: Lawmakers get 6.46% pay bump as thousands of Massachusetts residents still jobless.

As many Massachusetts residents worry about where they’ll find their next paycheck or meal amid mass unemployment during the pandemic, Beacon Hill officials are welcoming the new year with a fat raise.

The state’s 200 senators and representatives are each in line for a $4,280 bump in their base salaries — their third raise in as many legislative sessions. The 6.46% raise will boost their base pay to $70,536. The House speaker and Senate president will each pull down $178,000-plus.

Lawmakers will also be cashing in on a separate 4.89% hike to their office expense accounts and leadership will get another boost in their already lucrative stipends.

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“We’re in the middle of record-high unemployment, people can’t pay their rent, people don’t have enough to maintain their businesses and their businesses are closing — to me, it’s bad timing,” said Greg Sullivan, research director of the Pioneer Institute, noting jobless rates hovering around 6.7% are double what they were last year.

The raises are the result of a controversial pay hike legislation enacted four years ago that tied biennial adjustments to inflation. Base salary increases are mandated in the state constitution.



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