Legislature Concurs with Governor’s Recommendations on Scutari Legislation Addressing Elected Officials Exploiting Office for Monetary Gain

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari, which would prohibit retroactive salary increases for all elected officials throughout the state, awaits the Governor’s signature after the Senate and Assembly concurred with the Governor’s recommendations.

“Elected officials should not have the capability to give themselves retroactive salary increases, especially when there are so many working people in New Jersey who are suffering,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “As elected officials in the legislature, we are prohibited from giving ourselves retroactive raises and bonuses. No elected official should be able to collect back pay upon salary increases. The overwhelming-bipartisan support this legislation has garnered underscores my desire to prohibit this moral depravity.”

The basis for the bill, S-3369/A-5090, is Linden Mayor Derek Armstead who raised his salary from $73,425 to $100,000 a year; receiving a 36 percent retroactive pay raise, resulting in Armstead receiving a check for $26,575 of back pay for 11 months of work. Regrettably, Mayor Armstead keeps his tax-funded bonus.

“I brought forward this piece of legislation, colloquially referred to as ‘Derek’s Law,’ because as public officials we aim to foster a climate of accountability in government and to prevent career politicians from increasing their bank accounts by paying themselves for work they have already been paid for. Elected Officials should not breach the public’s trust and they should be getting into politics expecting to get rich. The enactment of this legislation will put an end to this unfortunate exploitation of taxpayer dollars by local elected officials,” Scutari said.

This legislation would solely apply to elected officials, not collectively bargained public employees or other government employees.

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