Legislators must put money where mouth is

Published 9:42 am Thursday, March 17, 2011

Amid all the furor over who is sacrificing more or hurting worse as a result of Ohio’s battered economy and broken budget, it’s hard to argue with Sen. Jason Wilson’s proposal for a cut that many taxpayers would laud: one that hits lawmakers’ paychecks. …

While the savings from that won’t do much to close an $8 billion budget gap, the gesture shows a willingness to share in the economic pain that is affecting so many Ohioans.

Aha, the cynic might say, but Wilson isn’t necessarily cutting his own pay; the cut would take effect in 2013, and his term ends after next year. …

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Still, Ohioans might be willing to give Wilson the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s offering the pay-cut bill for the best reason: as a way for representatives and senators to give back. …

But the growth or stagnation of Ohio’s job market is a complex phenomenon, affected by many factors outside lawmakers’ influence.

If employment surges upward in the next two years — as everyone hopes — should the legislature take credit for it, and would lawmakers then decide they deserve a pay raise?

The Columbus Dispatch