HOUSTON (AP) - State senators have paid out over $650,000 in
temporary pay increases to top aides over the last two years --
despite a constitutional ban on legislative bonus pay.
The senators defend the practice. But critics say the
end-of-year pay increases, bumping salaries over $10,000 a month in
some cases, are designed to get around the prohibition, according
to a story in Sunday editions of the Houston Chronicle and San
Some senators say the extra money helps them retain talented
employees. Others say salaries are kept low most of the year to
avoid a big budgetary surprise, noting that the temporary pay
increases are awarded only if there's money left over at the end of
the fiscal year.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)