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Massachusetts State Legislators Compensation Amendment, Question 1 (1998)

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Preamble
Part the First:
Articles I - XXX
Part the Second:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Articles of Amendment

The Massachusetts State Legislators Compensation Amendment, also known as Question 1, was on the November 3, 1998 ballot in Massachusetts as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. It was approved.

Election results

Question 1 (State Legislators Compensation)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,170,031 60.5%
No226,51727.8%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Text of measure

Ballot Summary

The official ballot summary for Question 1 was:

A YES VOTE would prohibit state legislators from changing their base pay and instead would adjust that pay according to changes in median household income.

A NO VOTE would make no change in the method for setting legislators' base pay.

This proposed constitutional amendment would prohibit the state legislature from changing the base compensation received by members of the Legislature as of January 1, 1996. As of the first Wednesday in January of 2001, and every second year thereafter, the base compensation would be increased or decreased at the same rate as increases or decreases in the median household income for the Commonwealth for the preceding two-year period, as ascertained by the Governor.[1][2]

Full text

The full text of the legislation enacted by Question 1 was:

Proposal for a Legislative Amendment to the Constitution Relative to the Compensation of Members of the General Court.

A majority of all the members elected to the Senate and House of Representatives, in joint session, hereby declares it to be expedient to alter the Constitution by the adoption of the following Article of Amendment, to the end that it may become a part of the Constitution [if similarly agreed to in a joint session of the next General Court and approved by the people at the state election next following]:

ARTICLE OF AMENDMENT.

Art. . The base compensation as of January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-six, of members of the general court shall not be changed except as provided in this article. As of the first Wednesday in January of the year two thousand and one and every second year thereafter, such base compensation shall be increased or decreased at the same rate as increases or decreases in the median household income for the commonwealth for the preceding two year period, as ascertained by the governor.

In JOINT SESSION, July 29, 1996.

The foregoing legislative amendment of the Constitution is agreed to in joint session of the two houses of the General Court, said amendment having received the affirmative votes of a majority of all the members elected; and it is referred to the next General Court in accordance with a provision of the Constitution.[1][2]

Support

Supporters argued:

  • The amendment would remove any awkwardness or controversy surrounding legislators voting for their own pay levels.
  • The salaries of legislators would become tied to the economy, "just like the salaries of everyone else."[1]

Opposition

Opponents argued:

  • The constitution is a compact between government and citizens to establishes rights and responsibilities, not salaries.
  • Legislator salaries should be debated thoughtfully, openly, and when deemed appropriate. The proposal amendment would remove some legislator accountability and not serve in the public's interest.[1]

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth (via archive.org)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.