Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pennsylvania by the numbers, Part II

2 -- Pennsylvania's current ranking for the highest gasoline tax among the 50 states. Pennsylvania also ranks 2nd among the states in the highest corporate income tax on businesses.

73,614 -- The number of dollars paid to a freshman Pennsylvania legislator as of Dec. 1, 2006, when the 10th consecutive pay raise (they call it a cost-of-living-increase) for these "public servants" kicks in.

24,571 -- The annual per capita income of a Pennsylvania worker, roughly one-third of what a freshman state legislator makes.

2,451,832 -- Number of votes Gov. Ed Rendell received in the November election.

1,608,285 -- Number of votes GOP challenger Lynn Swann received in the November election.

8,182,876 -- Number of registered voters in Pennsylvania.

5,731,044 -- Number of registered Pennsylvania voters who did not vote for Gov. Ed Rendell the November election.

6 -- The number of days after the Nov. 7 election Gov. Ed Rendell's transportation commission waited to issue a report recommending $1.7 billion in new taxes and fees to repair Pennsylvania’s deteriorating roads and bridges and keep its failing mass transit systems afloat.

76 -- The current age of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, who would take over as the state’s chief executive should Gov. Rendell pursue national ambitions.

55 -- The number of Pennsylvania legislators fired by voters or forced into retirement in 2006. Unfortunately, there's still around 200 more legislators who were returned to office.

28 -- Pennsylvania's ranking on the list of healthiest states released this week by the United Health Foundation.

347,000,000 -- The cost in millions of dollars that Pennsylvania taxpayers shell out each year to support the largest state legislature in the country, including 253 elected legislators and 3,000 people who work for them.

2,700,000 -- The number of dollars in millions Pennsylvania taxpayers pay their legislators as a reward for showing up in Harrisburg. It's a racket called "per diem," in which legislators collect $141 each day they show up for work (on top of their $73,614 annual salary and the most lucrative benefits package in the country).

77 -- The average number of days Pennsylvania lawmakers were in session in each of the past five years. (Legislators typically take the entire months of July, August and December off).

2008 -- The next year voters will have an opportunity to continue the housecleaning in Harrisburg when 25 state senators and all 203 state representatives run for re-election.

50 -- The number of state senators in the Pennsylvania legislature. In contrast, California, with a population of 36 million, has 40 state senators in its legislature.

203 -- The number of state representatives in the Pennsylvania legislature. California, which has four times the population of Pennsylvania, has 80 state representatives. Unlike Pennsylvania, where lawmakers can serve for life, California has term limits for state legislators and they do not receive a taxpayer-funded pension. Pennsylvania lawmakers who stay in office for 20 years earn an average pension of $53,400 a year for life.

8 -- The number of Republican House seats lost in the Nov. 7 election under the leadership of John Perzel and Sam Smith. Inexplicably, Republicans re-nominated Perzel and Smith to leadership posts for the next two years.

7 -- The number of newly-elected House Democratic Caucus leaders (out of a total of 7) who supported the July 2005 pay raise.

6 -- The number of newly-elected House Republican Caucus leaders (out of a total of 8) who supported the July 2005 pay raise.

4 -- The number of newly-elected Senate Republican Caucus leaders (out of a total of 6) who supported the July 2005 pay raise.

6 -- The number of newly-elected Senate Democratic Caucus leaders (out of a total of 7) who supported the July 2005 pay raise.

501 -- The number of school districts in Pennsylvania, each employing a superintendent earning an average of $114,000 a year regardless of experience or the size of the school district.

33,000 -- The total number of children forced to miss school so far in 2006 by teacher strikes. Pennsylvania ranks No. 1 in the nation in teacher strikes.

0 -- The amount of money Pennsylvania residents have received in promised tax relief from casinos during Gov. Ed Rendell's his first four years in office.

0 -- The amount of time the Pennsylvania Legislature spent debating a bill that allows casinos to serve unlimited free drinks to gamblers.

0 -- The number of programs set up by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to help state residents with gambling addictions since casino gambling was approved on July 4, 2004.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony,

How about Santoni? 10 columns leading up to the election about him ...and not one since election day?

What happened there?