Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Legislator Makes Sense?

Wait a minute, here. You say a CNMI Legislator made sense? No way! Way, you say? Okay, tell me more...

Torres challenges elected officials to cut their salaries

By Gemma Q. Casas
Variety News Staff

A LAWMAKER says government employees who experienced pay cuts and are likely to suffer another reduction in their salaries want to see the Legislature share the burden caused by its actions.

Rep. Ralph DLG. Torres, R-Saipan, said he introduced House Bill 16-84 so that lawmakers can “share the sacrifices.”

His legislation will reduce by 10 percent the salaries of elected officials...

Well, all I can muster is "Holy Crap!"

To get this out of the way, I've not been a believer in Ralph "Drink My Beer and Wear My Gear" Torres. I didn't think he'd amount to anything more than another bad haircut and cheesy mustache on Capitol Hill.

I pull some of that back now.

Damn Ralph, you made some sense on this one, and I'm not talking about the Ambrose variety, either. What I like more is that you said it plainly for even the least educated to understand, too!

“(People) are asking, ‘Why are you cutting our salaries? How about yours?’ Whatever we asked from the employees, we should do the same. Let’s be fair with the people. We took our vow to protect the people not our salaries.”
Nicely done. sir.

And what I appreciate even more is that Torres didn't just pull a rabbit out of his hat. The guy actually has a plan for the money that will be saved by his proposal.

He said the 10 percent cut on the wages of those officials will mean additional funding for the Public School System, Northern Marianas College and the Commonwealth Health Center.CHC and PSS will each get 40 percent of the “savings” while 20 percent will go to NMC.

It's no wonder that he's not the most liked legislator on The Hill these days, and I don't think he was being a crybaby when he said, “Yes, I’ve been getting unpopular comments about my bill. But if we as legislators, create an austerity measure, then we should also do our end of the bargain.”

The only improvement I see to Ralph's proposal is that it would not apply to the 16th Legislature should it go through. That leaves all kind of loopholes. Why not make it applicable to the next governor's term, or the next judge's term, etc.

Oh well, at least he has a plan. Could he have said it better than this: “Let’s start building our foundation now and just be fair.”

Good job, Ralph. You made the Honor Roll.

Want to talk to Ralph? Here's his office information:

Call : (670) 664-8923
Fax : (670) 664-8926
Email : rep.torresr@cnmileg.gov.mp
Staff Email: staff.rep.torresr@cnmileg.gov.mp


**Okay, enough pecker puffin. At least you know that I call out the baddies and give pats on the back .