Addison Dem bemoans failure to override legislative pay hike veto “on behalf of our future sisters in the Legislature”
by Kolby LaMarche
As members of the Vermont General Assembly retreat from a brief veto session, many of them return home singing a lullaby of accomplishment with a sprinkle of delusion. It seems they’ve mastered the art of self-deception, taking pride in their botched attempt at governance as a super majority while the real issues remained unattended.
For Senator Ruth Hardy, the return home carries a truly somber tone. It isn’t simply because 161,000 poor and low-income Vermonters still lack true justice. It’s not because of the 800 individuals she lent a hand in evicting from the GA program, now stranded without access to necessary support programs and shelter. It’s not solely because impoverished Vermont families are burdened with home energy costs five times the national average. And certainly not because of the impact of SNAP cuts, that is food assistance, on 41,316 Vermonters.
No, the source of her despondency is vastly more important: the denial of the legislative double pay increase.
Hardy centered her frustrations in comments given to VTDigger, saying “Women make, what is it, 82 cents on the dollar or so, compared to men. And so, even though we weren’t asking for a pay raise for ourselves, to be able to do it on behalf of our future sisters in the Legislature meant a lot to all of us.”
Just two paragraphs before the comment above, Hardy talks about the “optics”. In one breath, Hardy emphasizes the difficulty of optics when considering a pay increase, and in the next breath, she throws optics completely out the window by interjecting an irrelevant gender pay gap argument. Her feeble attempt to intertwine these unrelated issues reeks of a desperate ploy to gain sympathy. I mean, I doubt very heavily that the State of Vermont pays Senator Phil Baruth one whole dollar for every 82 cents given to Hardy.
You want to fight the gender pay gap, you want to raise legislative pay so more Vermonters with low-socioeconomic backgrounds can participate, fine. But to attempt to do it during a session such as this, a session of trauma and inhumanity on many fronts, and then gripe about the fact you didn’t get the double pay increase is, well I don’t know, just a bit…optically challenging?
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