Within the last few weeks I have learned that beginning the next school year my take-home pay will be cut no less than $5,000.00 per year. We took a cut in pay at the beginning of this school year, too, but it was not this significant. When we took the cut last school year, they closed several schools and increased everyone's work load. They said this would make up the deficit they were facing, but each year the state cuts more and more funding to public schools. The bills that are currently before the state legislation, if passed, will cut my pay more than IN HALF - half of what I will be making next year after this take-home pay cut in excess of $5,000.00. I would then be making about 40% of what I made during the 2009-2010 school year.
Even if the current legislation fails, $5000 is a significant loss to me, especially considering that inflation continues to spiral out of control.
Certain legislators in Indiana have left the state in an effort to stop this and other legislation like it, which would similarly affect skilled laborers and all public employees in the state, but I no longer hold out any hope that their efforts will be even slightly successful. I attended a legislative breakfast last week-end in my voting district. Several legislators who support this legislation were there speaking. At this breakfast they stated that if the absent legislators return to the state, even though many of the bills they wrote have died because of missing time-lines, they will simply "gut" what few bills remain eligible to be voted on and replace them with the language from the bills that "died" during this legislative impasse. They stated emphatically that the voters of the state elected them on this platform, and they intend to see it carried out. If they believe they campaigned honestly on this agenda, they have deluded themselves.
I am aware that this is not a political forum, and I am bringing this up here only because I need to explain a decision I have made. Due to the fact that I will be loosing at least what is to me a significant amount of income next school year, I have decided to rehome Ashlynn, my grey. She is the youngest of my birds, except for my daughter's parrotlet. She was hatched in July, so she can still be considered very young. She eats as much by herself as my other six birds combined. Her toy needs cost more. This is a hard decision for me. I am very attached to her. However, I believe this needs to be done now, before I get into some sort of financial stress related to the birds. I feel this is the time to rehome her, before she is a year old. Many birds have not even been placed into their first home at this age. My bird store has agreed to rehome her for me. I will also be rehoming my two youngest llamas right away.
Regarding my pets, my greatest fear is that I will not have enough income to even take care of the old and infirm pets I have - or the ones noone else would want. If my salary is cut in half, I will loose more than my pets, but at that time I will hopefully be able to find good homes for my younger pets. I do worry, however, about our fifteen year old blind llama, our fifteen year old dachshund, and our ten year old poodle.
I wish things were different, but this is, in my opinion, the most responsible action. Even if the legislators who have left this state succeed in killing this legislation this year, there is no election between now and the next legislative session. The legislators who are pushing these bills will simply enact them during the next legislative session in 2012. I heard the ones from my voting district promise to do so with my own ears.