Sunday, February 14, 2010

Luzerne County and Pennsylvania Government

As a follow up to Jennifer Learn-Andes and Steve Mocarsky's Times Leader article one should look at how many State Representatives lay claim as the solons of Luzerne County. There are seven:

Eddie "Day" Pashinski
John Yudicak
Todd Eachus
Karen Boback
Mike Carroll
James Wansacz
Phyllis Mundy

Why do we need to pay seven salaries just for Luzerne County? As of 2007 the base amount paid to PA. State Representatives was $73,613.00. That figure for 2009 is $78,315.00. That means, just looking at base salary, the cost to Pennsylvania's taxpayers for Luzerne County's House representation in the Pennsylvania legislature is $469,890.00. It is actually more since Todd Eachus as House Majority Leader is paid over $114,000 per year. Those figures do not include the legistative staff supporting the Representatives which is another story, parts later in this piece.

By comparison, the state’s median household income is $50,173.

Tim Potts of Democracy Rising PA noted that $12 million was cut from a program that provides aid to the state’s poorest citizens, including many who are disabled, elderly or blind.

Meanwhile, the Legislature sat on a $200 million reserve and increased the number of high earners on the payroll, he said.

If you want a real eye opener look at the salaries of some top legislative staff wage earners.

By the numbers

Number of House staffers making $100,000 or more — 47

Number of Senate staffers making $100,000 or more — 36

Number of state legislators making $100,000 or more — 14

Number of House staffers — 2,200

Number of Senate staffers — 907

Number of House staffers making more than rank-and-file representatives — 125

Number of Senate staffers making more than rank-and-file senators — 108

Salary of rank-and-file member of House and Senate — $78,315

In partiucluar let's look at what Todd Eachus's Chief of Staff is paid.

Laura Kuller

Majority Leader Todd Eachus’ chief of staff — $144,004

If that isn't out of control nothing is. Mr. Eachus should take a momemt to explain to the residents of the 116th why he is so generous with OUR money. He should also explain why to this day he has never returned his illegal pay raise yet tried to portray Lou Barletta as doing something illegal.

Folks but it gets better. After that story appeared Mr. John Micek of the Allentown Call updated Kuller's figure to $161,000.00. If you read that article Mr. Eachus is paying $393400.00 to just three employees. What do small businesses pay for their entire payroll? Mr. Eachus needs to get off his elitist pedestal and come back to earth.

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