Monday, November 22, 2010
PA. State Legislators Due Pay Raise Next Month
An Associated Press report by Peter Jackson featured in the Times Leader highlights the automatic pay raise scheduled for Pennsylvania solons next month.
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s top state officials, including legislators and judges, can look forward to a cost-of-living pay raise of 1.7 percent, officials said Monday.
Newly elected and returning legislators will get the increases starting Dec. 1, when the new Legislature opens for business, even though they won’t be sworn in until January.
Rank-and-file legislators’ salaries will increase from $78,315 to $79,623, while salaries for the four legislative floor leaders will rise from $113,468 to $115,364, officials said.
The raises, authorized by a 1995 law, are based on changes in the federal government’s Consumer Price Index for the mid-Atlantic states.
At a time when people are running out of their unemployment benefits and others can't find a job here's the real problem with this pay raise.
During this election cycle a flyer was sent to voters outlining history of the legislative pay raise from 2003 to 2010. In 2003 the salary of Pennsylvania legislators was $59,364.55. Due to a law passed in 1995 the Pennsylvania legislature pegged its yearly scheduled raises to changes in the federal government’s Consumer Price Index for the mid-Atlantic states. As a result the salary for Pennsylvania legislators in 2010 was $78,314.64. However if one were to use the Bureau of Labor and Statistics inflation calculator the legislative salary for 2010 should be $70,563.48 based on the $59,364.55 salary in 2003 using the Consumer Price Index as a benchmark.
Legislators using the CPI for mid-Atlantic States received $7,751.16 or almost 10% more than if the overall CPI for the country was the multiplier. On top of that figure is another $163 dollars per day every day they are in Harrisburg as long as the legislator doesn't live within 50 miles of the Capitol. However those legislators living within 50 miles can still claim the per diem if they attend committee meetings elsewhere in the state.
As many seniors found out the rise in the overall Consumer Price Index is used to calculate their raises for Social Security.
The Pennsylvania legislature only repealed its excessive grab in 2005. The scheduled pay raise due to the CPI calcualtion has remained intact. Maybe its time for the legislature to join the ranks of the senior citizens and feel their pain.
It seems our Congress and our Legislature know how to take care of themselves and not the electorate.