Locals to give back, or pay it forward
Several local organizations will benefit from the automatic 2.2 percent pay raise that will be given to state lawmakers starting Dec. 1, as state Reps. Kurt Masser (R-107) and Lynda Schlegel-Culver (R-108) and state Sen. John Gordner (R-27) all said they will donate the extra money.
Masser said youth teams and fire companies were among those he contributed to previously. He said he couldn't recall the exact amount, but that he gave even more than the amount of his raise.
Gordner also gives to nonprofits throughout his senatorial district.
"It's what I did last year and it seemed to work out very well," he said Tuesday. "We helped local food banks, health clinics and contributed flood relief through the American Red Cross."
Gordner has made giving the pay raise a tradition.
"Three years ago, the raise was donated back to the state Treasury," he said. "Two years ago, the raise was given to local libraries and then we started giving to it (other) nonprofits last year."
Culver returned the raise to the state Treasury last year, but for the 2013 raise, she said she wants to put the money where it will do the "most good," and she's polling constituents through her website to see what they suggest.
"I will listen to the people on this one," she said.
The new base pay for lawmakers is $83,802.