Hanabusa, Schatz spar over big pay, small pensions - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hanabusa, Schatz spar over big pay, small pensions

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Seniors living on a fixed income were contrast with lawmakers taking big pay raises in a debate between U.S. Senate hopefuls.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was cheery as she delivered punchy jabs Tuesday night, as if enjoying a fight. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz looked miffed at times, but retained a polite, even demeanor.

Hanabusa says Schatz supported a plan to tax Hawaii retirees' pensions when he served as lieutenant governor in 2011. Schatz says he privately disagreed with the pension tax but couldn't express that publicly.

Schatz says Hanabusa took a 36 percent pay raise when she was Hawaii Senate president and state workers were being furloughed. But Hanabusa says Schatz also took a pay raise.

The televised debate was hosted by AARP, which advocates for senior citizens.

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