Legislative Retribution

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By: Jeremy Alford

Legislators’ vote to increase their base pay to $37,500 a year hit a few nerves on the House and Senate floors, not just among voters back home. Lawmakers who voted against the raise felt the ire of their colleagues.

Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard of Thibodaux says a $100,000 earmark he secured for a dyslexia program at Nicholls State University was pulled from a budget bill days after he voted against the raise and signed an affidavit not to accept it. The earmark has since been restored, but some other lawmakers weren’t as fortunate. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, saw similar treatment in the House when an amendment was introduced to block lawmakers from working as doctors in the Charity Hospital system. Cassidy, a candidate for Congress who voted against the raise, is a physician at Earl K. Long Medical Center.

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