Monday, October 20, 2008


Speaker Calvin Say would recommend legislators give up pay raises

by Larry Geller

Speaker Calvin Say at Kokua Council

Speaker Calvin Say, when asked what, as Speaker, he would recommend be done with the raise scheduled to take effect when they return to work, replied "I may be the speaker, but I may not be the speaker after November 4, but my recommendation would be that we suspend the pay raise for two years."

Say was addressing Kokua Council’s 5th Annual Legislative Forum today at Harris United Methodist Church.

The raise, if there is no vote to change it, would be 36 percent. There would also be a raise in legislators’ expense accounts.

The audio of the session is available for listening at .

Other speakers were:

Rep. Marilyn Lee
Bruce Bottorff, AARP Hawaii
John McDermott, Long Term Care Ombudsman
Eudie Schick, Chair, PABEA Legislative Committee
Wes Lum, Caregivers Coalition
Jody Mishan, former caregiver, Genius of Aging Documentarian
Pat Urieff, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force
Rev. Bob Nakata, FACE
Alex Santiago, Phocused


The Kokua Council is one of Hawaii's oldest advocacy groups. Kokua Council seeks to empower seniors and other concerned citizens to be effective advocates in shaping the future and well-being of our community, with particular attention to those needing help in advocating for themselves.

Disclosure: I’m president of Kokua Council.


This has to be one of the oldest and stupidest things politicians focus on. Say and other politicians like him like to keep pay depressed to create a parallel system of socio-political debt patronage with younger, poorer ambitious politicians. Judges should be getting like 3 times as much as they are getting paid. Legislators should be getting at least 10%-25% over the media income.

Otherwise, it ends up being a bunch of mediocre hacks with lots of ambition that help circulate the power of more powerful mediocre hacks with even more ambition. Depressed salaries for legislators threatens a democracy in a capitalist economy.

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