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PA: Lawmakers get pay increase, salary soars past $83,000
Quote:PA: Lawmakers get pay increase, salary soars past $83,000

By Eric Boehm / November 20, 2012 / No Comments

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers will get a 2.2 percent pay increase on Dec. 1, boosting their salaries to more than $83,000.

Russ Faber, chief clerk of the state Senate, confirmed to PA Independent on Tuesday that lawmakers would receive a 2.165 percent increase in their pay at the start of December, after the Patriot-News reported the increase Tuesday morning. Legislators’ pay is linked to the consumer price index, or CPI, for the Mid-Atlantic States and is adjusted each December.

With the increase, the base salary for lawmakers in both the state House and state Senate will increase by about $1,800 from the current base salary of $82,000.

It pays to work under this dome.
The median household income in Pennsylvania is about $50,000. Unemployment in the state is 8.1 percent.

Faber confirmed that the new salary for President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, will be $130,820. Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, and Minority Leader Jay Costa, R-Allegheny, will receive $121,418 after Dec. 1.

Members of the state House will be see the same 2.2 percent bump.

With the increase, Speaker of the House Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, will make $130,820 next year, while Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, and Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, will make $121,418.

The Pennsylvania Constitution forbids lawmakers from being able to vote themselves a pay increase during their current term in office, but since the so-called “cost of living adjustment” is automatic and tied to the CPI, that restriction does not apply.

As a result, the 25 members of the state Senate who were not up for re-election this year will still receive the pay bump despite continuing their previous term in office.

Not all members of the General Assembly keep the automatic pay increase. In recent years, several lawmakers have returned the increase to the state treasury or have given the extra amount to charity.

If all lawmakers accept the pay raise, the increase in pay alone would cost taxpayers more than $450,000 next year.

Only California lawmakers, who receive a base salary of $95,000, made more than their Pennsylvania counterparts in 2012, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Pennsylvania lawmakers who live more than 50 miles from Harrisburg can also take a $160 per diem for each day of legislative work — which records indicate sometimes includes weekends. They do not have to provide receipts.

Lawmakers also pay just one percent towards health care benefits, compared to the average of two percent in the private sector.

Eric Epstein, founder of Rock The Capitol, a Harrisburg-based political reform group, said politicians should not be in a position to raise their own pay. He called for the repeal of the 1995 law that established the automatic annual pay increases.

“Compensation packages need to be pegged to accountability, merit markers and performance milestones,” he said.
It's the "BILL OF RIGHTS" not the bill of "needs"
interesting. that's not much more than what i make now. Doesn't sound like I want to run for state rep.

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
bigdawgbeav;44724 Wrote:interesting. that's not much more than what i make now. Doesn't sound like I want to run for state rep.

hopefully you're not running a bankrupt household like the PA government is though.

when will these people learn that you cannot put out more than you're taking in? this really is NOT hard arithmetic.
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Wow, I hadn't realize they made so little. I'm definitely never running for state rep.

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Aren't most of them former lawyers?

That salary would barely pay for their bookers.

Hookers...stupid auto correct.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
It doesn't include all the perks like housing allowance, lifetime healthcare, and lets not for get the campaign funds they probably get to keep through a loophole.

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
Id be taking a loss for the average pay. No wonder why we have Retards running the legislative process. Want smart people making laws? Pay them. Want them to balance the budget? Pay them. Don't pay them Thsn youll get special ed students with a good smile.
Congratulations to everyone making more than them, and I'm not being sarcastic. It takes years and hard work to make more than that, at least usually. My father is in the category of those who would be taking a pay cut if he took office rather than a raise so I understand that position.

Normally you can't just jump into a job with no experience and nothing but a pretty face and get that kind of money. There's a reason why the average household income is so far beneath their starting rate, but unlike the job of lawyers, business professionals, nuclear technicians, etc, the job of state representative has few prerequisites.

Getting the job is even easier for those running unopposed. Must be nice jumping into work every day on the public dime, not needing to show up before noon most working days, and getting a cost of living increase at the end of the year.

The job of representing the people isn't a major cash cow if you look at it from the perspective of already being above that level. I would challenge you to look at it from below, however. That's easy for me to do. Plenty of time off on the job, wonderful pension and benefits, with a starting pay of more than twice what my fiancee and I earn combined.

Life is obviously rough for them at their low rates though, I mean really how can they survive since god forbid they have to save a bit to retire as millionaires. My goodness some of them even have to give up a few percent of their pay to put on a show to look like they're fiscally conservative. Clearly the answer is to pay them more, to give them more taxpayer dollars to set the budget straight and keep the legislative houses in order. That will solve the problems being faced by Pennsylvanians across the state.

Realistically I am of the opinion that a small salary increase or decrease is irrelevant to the job that the holders of legislative offices do. They get paid at a level enough for them to survive comfortably even if they have to sacrifice picking up a couple of Cadillacs like their old salaries would let them, perhaps there's a bit of hyperbole in that statement though. They certainly do get a lot of time off though, especially compared to the working schmucks who are still hammering it out through the holidays. I'm sure that there's no way for them to lose track of what the people have to go through with that type of schedule though, they must be firmly in line with the common crowd enough to see the work they need to get done before the year is over.

What's that? They're busy naming roads and bridges and passing the least important pieces of legislation at this time of year? My goodness, we need to pay them more quickly to make sure they start getting more done. Please, I hardly think so. I spend enough time with them to see that a pay increase won't change how they do business, in my opinion.
IronSight, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.

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