The Assembly spent only 27 days in session doing the public's business from the beginning of 2007 through March 13, 2008 because Wisconsin has a part-time legislature, according to Republican Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch.
That's a revelation because being a Wisconsin legislator has been considered a full-time job since the mid-1990s, with a salary to boot.
It seems unlikely most Wisconsin residents think part-timers should get $47,413 plus an average $8,771 in food and lodging expenses a year. And by the way, Huebsch and other legislative leaders - Assembly and Senate Republicans and Democrats - voted 8-1 to increase legislative pay 6.3 percent to $50,438 in 2009.
Legislators make more than most people. The state's average personal income is $34,476 and we're betting most of the people that earn that and less are expected to put in 40 hours a week.
The Legislature worked little and accomplished little because powerful special interests like the insurance industry, big business led by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the construction industry, realtors and unions like the Wisconsin Education Association Council that gave legislators $7 million in 2005-06 to keep their jobs have told them not to address real solutions that may cost their pay masters.
Voters ought to show their outrage about this whenever they see these so-called policymakers between now and Election Day. Doggedly question why they did so little, why they worked only one month in 15 and why they should earn more than many Wisconsin residents who are real full-time wage earners.
Tell them to get back to work instead of throwing candy at you from a shiny parade car.