Today our blog offers the first installment of examples of waste in the General Assembly, as highlighted by the 28th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury. We'll keep them coming daily until it no longer amuses us, or until we burst a capillary.
Waste #1: A part-time legislature at full-time prices.
Pennsylvania's legislators are among the highest-paid state lawmakers in the nation, with rank-and-file members being paid $78,314 annually (excluding benefits and other perks, such as per diem expenses). Those in party leadership receive higher salaries; the Speaker of the House is paid $122,254.
The legislature is considered full-time, yet many legislators hold other jobs, and the House was in session an average of only 101 days per year over the past four years. While the grand jury acknowledged that some work gets done when the legislature is not officially in session, "these numbers do not appear to justify full-time status."