I am writing in response to the letter from Marilyn Burgess of Leeds (Jan. 13).
First, I must thank Ms. Burgess for taking the time to share her concerns in a public forum. She is right — it is vitally important that when government makes cuts to services, those in government share in the sacrifice.
That is why we in the Legislature cut $7.58 million, or about 12.7 percent, of the total budget for the legislative branch of government, when crafting the two-year state budget last spring
Those cuts included a pay freeze (saving $800,000), pension changes (saving $1.9 million), health insurance cuts (saving more than $1.8 million), $159,880 in savings from suspending legislators’ cost of living increases, and $65,408 in savings from reducing out-of-state travel by 30 percent.
Government has been living beyond its means for far too long. As legislators, we must lead by example by cutting our own budgets before cutting services to others. What we did in the last biennial budget is a start. I hope that we continue that trend when we write a new budget next year.
Rep. Bruce Bickford, R-Auburn