Opposition Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has officially presented a bill to the Plenary of the Liberian Senate which aims to set a fixed salary for lawmakers.
The bill which was read by the Secretary of the Senate Thursday, 20 August is titled: “An Act to Fix the Monthly Salary of Legislature.”
In his communication profiling the bill, Senator Dillon notes that Article 7 of the Constitution of Liberia says that the Republic should manage the national economy and natural resources of the country.
According to Mr. Dillon, the economy of Liberia has experienced a major decline over the years, especially during the Ebola epidemic, noting that the prevailing Covid-19 crisis has worsened the economy.
He adds that the country is in tough economic times. Dillon continues that Article 36 of the Constitution says the Legislature shall have a fixed salary, and therefore proposes that the salaries, allowances and benefits of the Legislature be fixed to nothing more than US$5,000 or it’s equivalent in Liberian dollars.
Mr. Dillon also proposes in the bill that the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro – tempore of the Liberian Senate make nothing more than US$5,000 monthly as their benefits.
Making the motion, Senator Saah Joseph says the Senate accepts the bill and it was sent to the committees on Ways, Means and Finance and Judiciary to report to the Plenary within two weeks.
Meanwhile, Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais says the timeframe for the committee to report is short, arguing that most of them including the author of the bill are going for re-election.
He notes that the bill wait till the elected senators come in January, saying: “We cannot do a bill now that will affect future lawmakers.”
A head count vote was taken on the bill to be reported within two weeks, during which 10 senators voted in favor of it, and none voted against the decision. Meanwhile two senators abstained from voting.
By Ethel A Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley