White: I will refuse pay without a budget

Published 12:58 am Friday, June 8, 2018

State Rep. Malinda White (D-Bogalusa) said Tuesday that she is refusing her additional legislative pay, because the state government has failed to pass a fiscal year budget.
“By failing again to pass a solution to fund the budget, the legislature in Baton Rouge has abandoned the people of our state. It makes me sick. Our failure should not cost taxpayers more. That’s why I won’t take my pay for the next legislative session,” White said. “The people of my district don’t get the option to just spend more when they fail in their responsibilities. I live in the real world.”
On Monday, the second extra legislative session this year ended in partisan gridlock. Now, a third special session is needed to find a budget solution to fund critical priorities before money runs out on July 1.
Experts said that the looming fiscal cliff could cause services such as public safety and emergency responses to be underfunded. But the special session needed to avoid that shutdown would cost taxpayers $60,000 a day.
Legislators in Louisiana receive a “per diem” amount for the days they are in Baton Rouge on legislative business. Refusing the check isn’t possible under the current system, but White said she plans to re-invest the funds into something worthy for the people of her district.
“I’ve to tried forego my paycheck for the per diem but the rules just won’t allow that,” she said. “So, I’m pledging to donate my pay — about $1,500 over a 10-day session — to a worthy cause in District 75. I’ll take the coming days to focus on our district and away from the craziness in Baton Rouge, and then decide where a donation will have the most impact.”