Senator Don Huffines: Give Voters a Voice on Elected Officials’ Pay Raises

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2018
 
Senator Don Huffines: Give Voters a Voice on Elected Officials’ Pay Raises
Voters must have the opportunity to hold elected officials accountable
 
[DALLAS, TX] - In response to reporting by The Dallas Morning News and dozens of Facebook comments expressing taxpayers’ angst, Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) announced today that he will pursue legislation in the 2019 Texas Legislature to force governments to get voter approval before raising the pay of an elected official. 
 
Senator Huffines stated, “By passing a pay increase for themselves, Dallas County officials have proven to taxpayers that they’re self-serving and self-interested, and indifferent to the challenges homeowners face due to ever-rising property tax bills. I’m offended at the cold, callous disregard county officials have for taxpayers, and I’m ever mindful that the dollars going into county officials’ pockets are taxpayers’ dollars.”
 
In a September 6th, 2018 article titled Dallas County Commissioners give themselves another pay bump as property values climb, The Dallas Morning News noted that, 
After another year of soaring tax revenue, Dallas County commissioners approved a 3 percent raise for themselves...That bump brings commissioners’ individual salaries to $163,500, and the county judge’s to $176,500, not counting the yearly $9,300 car allowance. Members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court have some of the highest salaries in the immediate area compared with their counterparts. In surrounding counties, the pay ranges from $75,500 and $94,300 for commissioners…

Senator Huffines stated, “As a watchdog for taxpayers, it’s not only my job to stand up to taxpayer abuses like this, it’s my obligation. County officials clearly hold taxpayers in contempt, and they need to be held accountable for that. Moving forward, elected officials should only get a pay raise when the voters approve.”

The 86th Texas Legislature will convene on January 8th, 2019. At that time, Senator Huffines will file legislation to require voter approval of any pay increase for any elected official at the state or local level. Voters must be asked to weigh-in on the question in a November General Election, when turnout is higher and more voters traditionally participate.
 
Senator Huffines concluded, “Texans are tired of seeing politicians stuff their pockets while they’re left to pick up the bill. I pride myself on being the only state senator who doesn’t take taxpayer compensation of any kind. As a state, we have to do more to give taxpayers a say in how their elected representatives are paid. This upcoming session, I’ll introduce legislation to do just that.”
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