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September 21 • 10:16 AM
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Lawmaker puts 'pay cut' into effect


May 20, 2009
TRI-CITY AREA — Certainly most people who've been laid off or cut back wish they had a couple of years to deal with it like the legislators in Lansing.

In what is widely considered a purely political, token move to "share in the pain" of Michigan's economic slide, lawmakers in March approved a ten percent pay cut across the board. The cut is also touted as a step toward patching the state's $1.3 billion budget deficit hole—except that particular part of the patching project won't take place until 2011.

That's why State Rep. Kevin Daley and his wife, Debbie, decided to donate part of his salary to eight local charities. He's making $1,000 donations to eight Lapeer County agencies—in total 10 percent of his income.

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Kevin Daley
"I think lawmakers were trying to trick people a little bit by voting for a pay cut that doesn't take effect for another two years," Daley said. "Families across the state are being forced to tighten their belt; state government should do the same. I'm trying to do the right thing and lead by example."

Daley decided to donate to community organizations close to his Arcadia Township home base rather than return the 10 percent to the state treasury, where he wouldn't have control over how the money is spent.

"The state has a $1.3 billion budget deficit; getting back $8,000 from me would just be a drop in the bucket. I'd rather my money go toward helping people with real needs here in Lapeer County instead of propping up more unnecessary government spending, like the $200,000 the state spends on car washes or the nearly half a million for the state archeological office," Daley said.

He sought the help of local school and county officials to choose the community organizations to make donations to. Those include the Children's Advocacy Center, Family Literacy Center, Human Development Commission, Love INC, Columbiaville Food Bank, KIND—Kids In a New Directions, Loving Hands Clinic, and Holiday Depot.

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Daley says it's important for a community to pull together when the going gets tough, and the organizations he chose demonstrate that philosophy.

"These groups are going above and beyond to make sure they can help as many people as possible with limited resources, and I'm proud to be able to contribute to such worthy causes," Daley said.

He'll again donate 10 percent of his lawmaker salary next year, and is encouraging organizations that would like to be considered in 2010 to contact his office by calling 517-373-1800 or emailing kevindaley@house.mi.gov.

Currently, legislators make $79,650 annually with an automatic $1,000 expense allowance each month. In 2001, salaries will drop to $71,685 with an annual expense allowance of $10,800.

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