HARRISBURG - Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) has introduced legislation to freeze Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for Pennsylvania public officials through 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial turmoil it is causing at all levels of government and in the lives of Pennsylvania residents.
The freeze would affect the members of the General Assembly, senior members of the executive branch and the judiciary.
“Our economy and citizens have taken a very hard hit,” said Ryan. “The Commonwealth is currently facing a multi-billion-dollar revenue shortfall in this pandemic. Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and staggering job losses are threatening the stability of working families. When Pennsylvania residents are making sacrifices and struggling just to put food on their table, it is no time for public officials to be taking a raise.”
Even before the emergence of COVID-19, Ryan had been advocating for a rollback in state spending, a plan for greater government efficiency and transparency, and a strategy of shared pain to put the Commonwealth and its pension systems back on solid ground. Now, he says, the situation is even more dire.
“This virus is having a negative impact worldwide,” said Ryan. “In Pennsylvania, we are being asked to stay inside, gatherings of more than a few people are prohibited and businesses have been forced to close, leaving hundreds of thousands without jobs. While the General Assembly has persisted in moving the governor to reopen several key industries, much more work remains.
“We are facing an ominous state budget cycle at a time when we have barely begun to calculate the revenue losses and added costs of this pandemic,” Ryan said. “The House Republican Caucus recently placed a freeze on hiring and froze the salaries of its employees for at least one year. With these measures and the sacrifices of so many others, it is only right that we, as public officials, forego our own pay increases.”
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham