The LuLac Edition #649, Nov. 24th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: STATE CAPITOL IN HARRISBURG.
RAISES? OUR FAULT
If you are complaining about the fact that the State Legislators once again raised their pay, I have new for you. It's our fault. We put these people in year after year. Even after we have people stepping down, we send the new ones back WITHOUT primary opponents and worswe yet, WITHOUT general election opposition. So before you get all hot and bothered, remember it is we the voters who return the Princes and Princesses of government back to Harrisburg with nary a bad word said. Now I'll give you the fact that the Legislators are sneaky and snakey to the core, waiting until AFTER the election to grab the money. But we let them. Over and over again.
Anyway, here's the rundown of how the new payraises shake out.
House and Senate members will receive a 2.8 percent raise, setting lawmakers' pay at $78,315.00. The 30 legislative leaders will receive a tad more. Their pay will range from $89,300 for caucus administrators, secretaries and policy-committee chairmen, to $122,254 for the speaker of the House and Senate president pro tempore. The legislative raises will kick in Dec. 1. They will be based on the annual change in the federal Consumer Price Index for the Mid-Atlantic region for the 12-month period ending in October. The same 2.8 percent increase is due judges statewide, though their raises won't take effect until Jan. 1. The judiciary's pay will run from $191,876 for Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille to $161,850 for county judges and $80,927 for local magisterial district justices. The cost-of-living adjustment also applies to Gov. Ed Rendell and his Cabinet secretaries. That goes into effect on January 1. Their new salaries were not available but based on 2008 pay levels, the governor's salary would jump to $174,956. Rendell said he might consider suspending the executive-branch raises in keeping with his budget cutting plan. The plan was brought on by slumping state revenues that might finish the current fiscal year between $1 billion and $2 billion below projections. Rendell did forego his automatic pay raise in 2004, shortly after he negotiated a pay freeze for all state workers under his jurisdiction. At that time, he also "recommended" that his Cabinet secretaries and senior staff members pass on their raises, and they did. See, the difference between Ed Rendell and the State Legislators is that the Governor is more in touch with the needs of the average Pennsylvania family than the under performing and overpaid hacks we regularly send to Harrisburg. Now in our local area we have some quality people. It is for this reason that I hope they not take the raise or give it to some charity in their district. For a body of government that was badly bruised image wise after the 2005 payraise, that might be something to consider. But if they don't, maybe someone, somewhere should start lining up candidates for 2010 to oppose them. You might not beat them but at least you'll have them work for their money they get and get and get and get....................... Oh and how about Bob Mellow, he says that Legislators have obligations just like everybody else. And the raise was the right thing to do. Let's get the collection plates out for the Senator from beautiful downtown Peckville!