Whether the money is well spent is one factor, but Micek's story raises the question of how many staffers the 253 elected lawmakers need.
From Micek's story:
Critics of big government and other reformers question why the Pennsylvania Legislature needs scores of staffers -- many well paid -- when other states make do with far less.It also appears that the only way to get rid of these high-paid staffers is criminal charges, which is what happened with the Bonusgate corruption probe. Otherwise, politicians come and go, but a permanent (and well-paid) bureaucracy appears to be calling the shots in the Legislature.
The 203-member House had 2,245 employees as of Dec. 31, a ratio of 11.05 employees per lawmaker, records show. The 50-member Senate had 911 employees, or 18.22 staffers per lawmaker.
"Given our economy, obviously bigger isn't always better," said Matthew Brouillette, president of the conservative Commonwealth Foundation, a Harrisburg think tank often critical of government spending. "The people out of [the Capitol] I've tried to hire, I can't afford. The private sector isn't providing the kinds of salaries they're getting on the Hill."
Pennsylvania's median family income was $48,562 prior to the recession.
Read Micek's full story at the newspaper's Web site.
Also check out an earlier post on the subject.