While I am supposed to be working, I am, instead, steadily writing each politician for whom my vote could make a difference. Two down, several to go. While I should probably have each of them in my Personal Address Book in Outlook, I don't, I just look them up on the website and use their forms. This way I can also see what they have been up to while I wasn't watching. Well, what they ADMIT they have been up to.
So, imaging my surprise when I came across this recently passed bill by the Florida Senate.
The Florida Senate today passed an amendment to the budget that would slice 10 percent from the salaries of all senators, representatives, and state-wide elected cabinet members including the governor.
The measure, sponsored by Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) and Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville), will save an estimated $600,000. The money would be redirected to reduce cuts to early childhood education.
"This is the toughest budget year in a generation," Gaetz said. "At a time when belts have to be tightened to balance revenues and expenses, those in elected positions should lead by example."
"Six hundred thousand dollars not paid to politicians will provide educational services to 500 four year olds who otherwise would not be accommodated in pre-kindergarten programs," Gaetz said.
Last year Fasano and Gaetz refused to accept automatic three percent increases in their Senate salaries. Gaetz's salary for representing Northwest Florida in the Senate is $31,000 per year. He contributes his salary to charitable causes, scholarships and recognitions for students, and operations of his office.
Wow! Obviously Gaetz is enormously wealthy if he does not need his salary to live on, but it is nice to see a politician actually give back to the communities that elected them. After more research, I may vote for him in the future. Even with that R behind his name.