BOSTON (SHNS) – Two more state lawmakers have told Treasurer Deborah Goldberg that they will not be accepting the $4,280 raise in annual salary due to legislators for the new session, bringing the total number of lawmakers who have rejected the money to four.
Rep. Donald Berthiaume, a Spencer Republican, and Sen. John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, both informed the Treasury not to include the 6.46 percent raise in their pay, according to Goldberg’s office.
Rep. Christopher Hendricks of New Bedford and Sen. Anne Gobi, also of Spencer, have also turned the money down. The News Service reported on Monday that two lawmakers and four of the state’s six Constitutional officers had decided not to accept additional pay this year as many of their constituents continue to struggle financially through the pandemic.
The raises are available to elected officials based on triggers in the Constitution and state law tied to changes in wages and household incomes over the past two years. Auditor Suzanne Bump is the only statewide elected official to accept a raise, a 4.89 percent increase that boosts her annual salary by $8,740 to $187,468.
Secretary of State William Galvin hasn’t decided what to do yet, but is not accepting additional money at this time. Other legislators have chosen to accept the money, but donate it to charity.
Rep. David DeCoste (R-Norwell) emailed to say that ever since he was elected in 2014 he has donated any pay raises made available to legislators to local charities. DeCoste said he has already mailed out over $4,000 in donations as of last Tuesday, and provides bank statements and a list of charities he supports to local radio station WATD for verification.
DeCoste said he also does not participate in the state pension system, meaning that he is not boosting his retirement by accepting the raises in his pay, rather than rejecting the money outright.