Harkins, Merski: Bill would freeze cost-of-living adjustments for public officials

HARRISBURG, May 26 – State Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, joined fellow lawmakers today in voting to suspend cost-of-living adjustments for public officials.

House Bill 2487, which passed the House unanimously, would amend the Public Official Compensation Law to freeze COLAs through 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although in the big picture, this measure is a drop in the bucket given our state’s $5.5 billion deficit, I believe this is when we need to step up and look to see how we can save precious taxpayer dollars,” Harkins said. “We don’t know what lies ahead, but we are determined to get through this and put Pennsylvania back on solid financial ground as quickly as possible. We all need to share the pain.”

Merski said, “Our community has been through so much since this pandemic struck, and every day, we’re encouraging residents to stay strong and asking them to make sacrifices. With so many residents out of work and struggling to make ends meet, we need to be looking for ways to save money, not worrying about cost-of-living increases. I’m glad the bill received a unanimous, bipartisan vote.”

The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.