6 Days Late to Pass a State Budget, But Right on Time For Their Own Pay Hike

Those miserable sons of bitches in Harrisburg are enough to make a man scream.
Mass transit is up to it’s ass in red ink, the roads continue to suck, and while Joe Average is damn glad to get a couple of percent in his paycheck so he manages to fall behind a little less, the crafters of the laws, or screwers of the pooch, depending on your viewpoint, awarded themselves a healthy sixteen fucking percent pay hike! :eek: I hope Rendell grows a set and vetoes this robbery with a fountain pen, rather than just saying that he won’t take his plateful from the taxpayer’s cash buffet.

You keep hoping that. Rendell already said a week ago that due to the way the state Congress is giving him pretty much everything he wants he will look favorably upon their pay raise.

I used to work a block away from the Capital building, and I can state without reservation that they are not worth even a 10th of what they’re making now, not for the “work” they put in. They’re almost never there, and recently they tried to pass a motion allowing them to absentee vote, sparing them the necessity of even showing up for work on the few days they’re in session. :rolleyes:

I know it’s a long shot, man. Some of these thieves have the nerve to claim that it’s very hard work, with long days, etc. etc. Tell ya what, bucko-howsabout you spend a week of nice eight hour days doing something like placing and finishing concrete, or humping shingles onto a roof job and then talk to me about hard work. Yet another reason to have term limits-these suckers have no clue what it’s like to not be on the public tit.

Yeah, the hard work comes after a long night at Scott’s when they have to try to avoid all the road signs that resemble black men walking on the Turnpike, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Cameron Street. Of course, it wasn’t the booze, it was the blowjob (allegedly), but man, that’s some mighty hard work. Yessiree bob.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the lowdown: The saga of Tom Druce, one of our most famous hard-working legislators. Well, OK, make that former. It’s kinda hard to legislate from jail, but hey, there’s still hope, because with this absentee voting stuff they’re coming up with he’d never have to show up anyway. :rolleyes:

I dunno about the state legislature, and I’m certainly not condoning an outrageous 16% pay hike - especially when the economy isn’t exactly booming - but I think the notion that they don’t work hard is pretty unfair. If the state legislature is anything like Congress, they are pulling 10-12 hour days, 6-7 days a week: in legislative meetings, meeting with constituents, at committee hearings, etc., etc.

You’re complaining about the budget being 6 days late? NYS has had late budgets for the last two decades, sometimes months late. Even this year’s “on time” budget got a nighttime revision two weeks after the deadline. If the losers up in Albany would start running the state right, I’d gladly give them a raise. Ok, maybe just a bonus for an on time budget.

6 days? You’re complaining about 6 days?

This year was the first year in a long time that NY got a budget on time. It is usually MONTHS late.

Ask not what your government can do for you. Ask what you can do for your government.

Bend over?

Heh - sounds like Minnesota. Well, without the pay hike, however. Nice that we can still squabble over slot machines at some racing venue while putting the state endocrinologist (among many other, less well-paid state workers) out of work. But hey! No new taxes! Just fees out the ass.

On the other hand, there is the thought that you get what you pay for. If PA only wants to pay sufficient salaries for corrupt inept people to consider becoming legislators then that’s what they’ll wind up with in the legislature. Intelligent, hardworking people with families to support and mortgages to pay are unlikely to consider or attempt the indignities and expense of running for office if it isn’t worth his or her while.

Not in Pennsylvania. They are a part-time legislature. One year I counted how many days they were in session. 60 days. 60! That is 1/6 of a year! And for that we gave them $55,000.

I want that job. If that’s considered hard work I’m running next year, because God knows I want to work just as hard as I can. :rolleyes:

I had the exact same thought when I read the title. Man, I’d be THRILLED if my state was never more than 6 days late…

But the point, of course, is that timeliness of the pay raise. They’re never late for that action, are they? :slight_smile:

I beg to differ. With term limits, career politicians are a thing of the past and we turn towards the intent of the founding fathers, which is that members of the legislature were true servants of the public. Persons such as Jefferson took office out of a sense of obligation to the electorate, often earning less for their service than their private endeavors would generate. Dismantle the pol-for-life machine, and good men and women of character would rise to the task.

I’m not sure what you mean by indignities, other than being put in the public eye, which is all the more reason to go to the Capital, do your job, and go home.

As far as getting what I pay for, I want to get legislators who are truly in touch with the working stiffs, the single mothers, the people who have no health insurance because it’s too expensive, and who drive more than 50 miles to work without being handed another $128 dollars just for fucking showing up.

Say what you want about North Dakota, but we have it pretty good here. Each budget is a 2 year deal. It gets done before the end of session so everyone can go hunting. No shutdowns here. Pretty smooth process, even if they do want ban smoki…ok, I’ll take a breath.

Hell, when you run for statewide office you and the electorate go into it knowing it’s a part-time job. It’s very rarely a carreer choice. The more I hear from the “respected” states, the more I like the unknown gem that is North Dakota.

Thanks for making me feel better about living here. At least until it’s -70F and I start bitching about global warming. Again. :smiley:

The howling from the electorate was heard strongly in the midstate, here, and here.

I haven’t been able to find a link to the AP story in today’s Patriot-News regarding other income for our legislators. Vincent Fumo (D-Phila) reported earnings of $709K as a banker last year. He’s also an attorney and businessman. He voted for and defended the pay raise as necessary.

Now all of the claims about paying people to attract the best and brightest go out the fucking window when I read this. This bastard is already making close to a mil in other business endeavors, and has the balls to say that an increase 12 times what Joe Six-Pack will ever see in his dreams is necessary?!?

H. William DeWeese (D-Greene) also defended the increase, arguing that “a legislator’s work is never done.” He went on to talk about how he’s “on the clock” when going to the supermarket or to a Christmas parade.

Fuck you, DeWeese. Tell that to a cop or fireman who’s making less than half your salary, without all the bennies.

Um, Reeder? Care to step in here? We await with baited breath your response.

If you knew what you were saying, greatest pun ever! If not, it’s “bated”.

A few odds and ends:

  1. I’m all for state legislators’ being paid enough so your typical citizen can afford to be one. (In many states, that’s nowhere close to being the case.) But even the $69,647 that PA state legislators were already getting should have more than sufficed for that purpose.

  2. Part time v. full time has little to do with it, IMHO. The main problem is that even a part-time legislature is in session too long to allow most of us to keep our day jobs, so you’ve got to allow for one’s paycheck as a legislator to be one’s main income.

  3. Term limits sounds great, but in practice it means a legislature of perpetual neophytes who don’t know anywhere near enough to deal with the corporate lobbyists who will have a far better idea of the effect of some wording change in a bill than the term-limited legislators themselves.

I don’t like perpetual incumbency, and ISTM there’s a simple means to avoid it: you limit the number of consecutive terms that a legislator can serve all or part of. That way, you’d have at least a handful of legislators who would run and win as challengers after their enforced sabbatical, who would have the experience to know the games lobbyists play.

The scary part is, limiting consecutive terms is probably too complicated a concept to sell to the public, in this day and age.

  1. As others have already said, 6 days late ain’t bad, by legislative standards.

Contrary to current popular belief, the founding fathers were practical, pragmatic men, not saints sent down from on high. Franklin, Jefferson, Adams etal would expect to, and be entitled to, receive more than token pay for their labors as legislators today. Good men and women won’t necessarily rise to the task because they’ve got other important things to do. Nothing’s been stopping them from running for the legislature now, and apparently they haven’t risen to the task so far, so why all of sudden magically are they going to appear? Someone who is successful in their work - be it a doctor, a lawyer, a contractor, a union guy on the assembly line - is not going to take two years off in the prime of his earnings life to spend time and money being in office unless its worth his while. I agree that the base pay of $59K with benefits seems already high enough, but my main point is still valid.

As for what I mean by indignities, I mean the things that a politican has to do to run for office. Fundraising and making appearances at every spaghetti dinner, parade and pancake breakfast in the district is not fun.