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Pa. Lawmakers Second-Highest Paid in U.S.

Gov. Tom Corbett is the highest-paid governor in the country.

It pays to be a lawmaker in Pennsylvania -- it pays really well.

Pennsylvania's lawmakers are the second-highest paid in the country. Only those in California earn more. And Gov. Tom Corbett is the highest-paid governor in the country.

The base lawmaker's salary in the Keystone State is $84,012 per year, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.

Corbett's salary in 2013 was $187,256, Pew Charitable Trusts says. However, Corbett has voluntarily refused cost-of-living adjustments, so his take-home pay in 2013 was closer to $175,000, Pew said.

The lowest-paid governor is Paul LePage of Maine, who earned $70,000 in 2013.

The lowest-paid lawmakers are in Kentucky, Wyoming, Alabama, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

Do you think Pennsylvania lawmakers are worth their high salaries?

Lilly Skywalker June 02, 2014 at 06:58 AM
Least we not forget the perks!! Do you think Marcellus Shale just said thanks for not taxing us Gov?, etc. Dig deep, you will find that relatives of politicians made bank buying up drilling land prior to the arrival of MS. Why??? they were tipped off before the drilling began. Where is the money from the casinos? Pa is only second in revenue to Nevada. Just wondering is all. It is time for taxpayers to stop the madness or more will lose everything they worked years to obtain. I know I did. NO MORE!!!!! Once elected we pay a lifetime for their mistakes.
Jane Taxpayer June 02, 2014 at 10:40 AM
I ask those very same questions. Unfortunately a majority of voters happily continue to be uninformed or ill-informed.
Benjamin Gross June 02, 2014 at 08:43 AM
Former Pennsylvania state legislators and prison cellmates, Bill DeWeese and John Perzel, know a thing or two about getting your hand caught in the political cookie jar. DeWeese, a Democrat, and Perzel, a Republican, both served time for using public resources for private gain. Then there is the case of former State Senator Vince Fumo, who had the chutzpah to run his Dauphin County farm with state employees, before being sentenced to 55 months in prison for various and egregious acts of public corruption. What do these Pennsylvania politicians – Democrats and Republicans alike – have in common? Surely greed and self-interest abound in other states, but why does Harrisburg rank next to Tammany Hall on the Sticky Fingers index? First, let’s consider what is normal. Forty-six states have part-time state legislatures. Pennsylvania is one of four full-time legislatures. Not so normal. In normal states, legislators have to keep their day jobs. Seven states pay their legislators less than $10,000 per year, including New Hampshire that pays a $100 annual salary. Even higher populated Florida pays less than $30,000 per year. Pennsylvania, it so happens, is the second highest paid in the nation at $83,801. Oh, and Pennsylvania legislators earn an additional per diem just for showing up for work, a free car lease, nearly free health insurance, and a pretty lucrative taxpayer-funded pension. Living under one of the most expensive state legislatures in the country, what do we get? For one, Pennsylvania is among the 10 most fiscally incontinent states in the union, according to a non-partisan study released in January by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. Pennsylvania has the highest corporate tax burden in nation. Well, unless you curry favor with the governor or powerful legislators and get yourself a Keystone Opportunity Zone or a big heap of RCAP dollars. And Pennsylvania is among the dwindling number of states with a government booze monopoly. Wendell Young IV’s opinions notwithstanding, shopping for wine and spirits in other states is quite a convenient - even delightful experience - where the customer, and not a state jobs program, is the market focus. So how does Pennsylvania leave this political Twilight Zone? Restore the concept of a citizen legislature. Instead of rewarding your fellow party-members with a lottery win of plush salary and benefits, make public service the burden it should be. Allow IT managers, barbers, pipe fitters, doctors and taxi cab drivers to serve in the legislature and keep their day-jobs. Specifically, if elected, we will propose bills to reduce the General Assembly to genuine part-time sessions, drop the salaries to $15,000 per year, end defined benefit pensions and eliminate unvouchered per diems that pad politicians’ bank accounts. And to set a proper example, neither of us, if elected, will take the pensions or undocumented per diems presently offered to Pennsylvania legislators. We cannot legislate human nature, but we can legislate away the incentives to get elected, and, ideally, the keen interest legislators have in trading favors to crony businesses and trade groups for political contributions so they can remain elected. Whether you live in either of our districts or share our party registration does not matter. Pennsylvania’s political Twilight Zone is corrupt, embarrassing and expensive. Do your part in ending it. Tom Fodi is the Republican candidate for State Representative in the 20th District. Ben Gross is the Republican candidate for State Representative in the 45th District.
Kevin June 03, 2014 at 11:02 AM
It's interesting that there are some states the have part-time legislators. That could be problematic when an employer tries to influence a legislator in their favor. It may be that PA has full-time legislators for that reason. Perhaps this is part of the difference between a Commonwealth and a State.
Lilly Skywalker June 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM
About Pennsylvania jobs and Marcellus Shale. I am pretty sure not 100%.... Allegedly, the majority of the drilling jobs promised to the taxpayers were given to folks from Texas, West Virginia (granted, those folks have a right to work and pay taxes ) however, I for one believe Pennsylvania First. Finally, and I will quit for now. Someone needs to address fracking!

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