Monday, November 17, 2008

Nice work if you can get it

Even though the Pennsylvania Legislature has been in session less than 20 days over the past six months, more than 75 percent of Pennsylvania's lawmakers will tell you they consider themselves "full-time legislators," according to POLICY BLOG, which found the information at the National Council of State Legislatures Web site.

Nationally, only 16% consider themselves "full-time legislators" - while this is a sharp rise from less than 3% in 1976, and now tops lawyer as the top profession, it means that an overwhelming majority are not full-time legislators.
The starting salary for a Pennsylvania legislator is $76,163 plus a generous benefits package that brings the average annual cost to $150,000 per lawmaker.

Pennsylvania taxpayers shell out more than $300 million a year to support 253 "full-time" legislators and a support staff of 3,000.

And while Pennsylvania is currently running a $550 million budget deficit, the Legislature has not offered to make any cuts in its annual spending.

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