Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Part-Timers Get $47K a Year Plus Expenses? Only In The Legislature

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.


Jack Lohman said...

Actually, I think I'd be willing to double their salary if we could eliminate the tips. That is, the millions of dollars the special interests give lawmakers to pass particular bills that give away billions in taxpayer assets. And ironically, they don't even need 40 hours a week to accomplish that!!!

Perhaps better yet, we need a virtual cleaning out of the legislature in November. I can count on one hand the lawmakers worth their salt. The rest have to go.

Anonymous said...

Vote All the Bums Out!

Anonymous said...

Government workers getting paid too much and not working 40 hour weeks year round??? Why is it a problem in this case but not in the case of public school teachers??? If it makes sense to pay a graphics art instructor $62,000 salary + 31,000 benefits to teach students how to screen print a tee-shirt, then, in the interest of not being a hypocrite, I have to consider this acceptable.