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Select Comm. on Reduction of Salaries and Abolishment of Commissions. Report, 1840
House No. 22 Reports on the reduction of salaries and the abolition of commissions. On January 8, 1840, five men were appointed to see if salary
reductions, etc. would help the state's bottom line. The Select Committee's chairman reported on February 27, 1840. Massachusetts had doubled its
income in the last fifteen years, but found ways to spend even more; the government was $300,000 in debt. Officials should certainly get a decent wage,
but the state had to raise taxes or reduce expenses--the Governor voted for the latter. The Legislature was the state's biggest expense, but it was
not included in the study because a Constitutional amendment likely would drastically reduce the number of legislators, thereby saving a lot of money.
The Governor and the Supreme Court judges could have their salaries cut, the salaries of district attorneys and the Attorney General could be cut by
half. The map of the state had cost a fortune and wasn't done yet, but so much had been spent that it had to be finished. The various surveys had
cost a lot, without much return. The Bank Commission was no longer necessary, and the same for the State Board of Education. Pp. 25 & 26 showed the
cost savings to be had. There followed financial reports from the surveys and commissions. On P. 43 was An Act establishing the salaries of certain
public officials, 1840. It was basically a list of the new salaries. On P. 45 An Act repealing an act providing for the appointment of a Bank
Commission, 1840. P. 48 was A Resolve concerning the agricultural survey of the Commonwealth, 1840. This resolve repealed a previous one establishing the
survey. P. 49 and following was a minority report. These men felt the group had not had nearly enough time to study the issue. The chairman drowned
them in paperwork and failed to notify them of certain meetings. They pointed out that a huge amount was spent on the Revised Statutes and that
expense was done. Since so many officials were going on half pay, why didn't the Legislature do the same? The state needs the best, not necessarily the
cheapest workers. The men did not think much of removing workers and sending that work on to other underpaid employees. They argued on behalf of all
the surveys and especially for the Bank Commission. Massachusetts was not insolvent or even poor, so the retrenchment did not need to be so drastic.
(Digitized from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Massachusetts State Library).
Title:   Reports on the reduction of salaries, and the abolishing of commissions.
OCLC Number:   1399222178
Available Volumes
NameFiche CountOnlinePaper Backup
Vol. 1YesNo