Campus Notebook: Money Management

Posted July 31, 2009 at 5:37pm

House staffers will continue to get monthly paychecks for the foreseeable future, following the failure of a bill that could have led to paychecks being issued every two weeks.

[IMGCAP(1)]The bill would not have automatically changed the pay period. Instead, it would have given the House Administration Committee the authority to make changes to the pay schedule.

Supporters of the bill say staffers would be better able to manage their budgets if they received two paychecks a month, rather than one. But some worry about the consequences of changing a system to which staffers have become accustomed.

Kyle Anderson, spokesman for House Administration Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.), acknowledged that there were “varying views on what is the best option.— But, he added, the committee hadn’t planned to make any changes until conducting a survey to find out what staffers prefer.

He attributed the failure of the bill to a misunderstanding of the bill’s effect.

“The perception existed that this would actually change it, when in fact it simply gave the committee the authority to do so,— he said.

The bill needed a two-thirds majority to pass; it narrowly failed, 282-144.

Chamber Facelift. House officials are taking advantage of the monthlong August recess by installing a hydraulic lift and summary boards in the chamber.

House Administration Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.) issued a “Dear Colleague— letter Friday informing Members that access to the chamber and the gallery will be “restricted— while the work is being done.

“I request that all Members assure the safety of Members, visitors and workers involved in the construction and renovation activities during the district work period by complying with restrictions on access to the floor and gallery, and to follow House Rules with respect to appropriate use of the floor at all times,— he wrote.

The hydraulic lift has been planned for years and will give people with disabilities access to the chamber’s rostrum. The lift will enable five-term Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.), who was in a wheelchair, to preside over a House session.

Brady also wrote that wiring and computer installation will be done in August, requiring scaffolding and other construction work that “presents a hazard to those on the floor.—

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