At a time when state government is telling taxpayers, state workers, businesses and organizations that they must - again - play a role in cleaning up the state's fiscal mess, legislators throughout the state should do the same. State Representative Jeanne Ives believes in leading by example.
Since taking office in 2013, Representative Ives has given money back from her district allotment every fiscal year: FY 2013 she returned $6,152.16 to the state; in FY14 Ives gave back $11,533.76. And, in FY 2015 she will return about $12,000 which represents over 17% of her annual office allotment. Ives and her staff have worked deliberately to identify and implement efficiencies and cost saving measures that allowed them to end each fiscal year with a budget surplus. Additionally, she has co-sponsored legislation that would reduce all House district office allotments by 10 percent. Democrat leaders who control the General Assembly have refused to give that bill a vote.
Furthermore, Ives has refused a pension and pays for her own events out-of-pocket or by partnering with local businesses. Her office furniture and other equipment is either donated or purchased out of pocket.
"My commitment has always been to taxpayers and businesses, who are stuck funding a government that is isn't always respectful of their hard work," says Ives. "Every office of government, at every level of government needs to find ways to save money and operate more efficiently. We have asked families and businesses to bear the burden alone for far too long. The state has a long way to go in winning back the trust of taxpayers and businesses. Reducing office budgets is a small, but important first step."