Another Plug for the Cost Cutting Blog

The VA Cost Cutting blog is gaining a good head of steam with commentary focused on a subject near and dear to our hearts at the Bacon’s Rebellion blog: cutting government waste and inefficiency. If you like the subject matter we address here, you’ll like the VA Cost Cutting Blog.

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3 responses to “Another Plug for the Cost Cutting Blog”

  1. Uncle Lester Avatar
    Uncle Lester

    Well, Well, Well, isn’t this a surprise! Here’s a nice little tidbit out of the 2006-2008 budget: Chief Patron: Saslaw “(This amendment increases the salary of the Speaker of the House of Delegates from $36,321 to $47,000, the salaries of members of the House of Delegates from $17,640 to $30,000, and the salaries of members of the Senate from $18,000 to $30,000. The effective date of these changes is January 9, 2008. These increases are consistent with those provided for state agency heads since the last legislative salary increase in 1988. The salary the Speaker was last increased in 1998.)” You want to cut costs – start here!

  2. This kind of unthinking reaction to the question whether our “citizen” legislators should receive greater compensation for their service to the Commonwealth riles me.

    Why do so many among us begrudge our representatives fair compensation and adequate reimbursement for the expenses associated with holding public office?

    Why do so many among us expect our legislators to attend all of our civic association meetings, chamber and community events, weddings, funerals, etc; be faithful correspondents returning every call and responding to every letter and email; and acquire the knowledge and skill necessary to play a meaningful role in running the Commonwealth (expectations that routinely require 25 to 40 hours a week in the off season and 60-80 hours a week during the session) AND expect them to do all of this for $18,000 a year?

    Take a look at the Holton/Baliles citizen commission study of legislative compensation from the early 90’s. It clearly shows that we get a lot for our money.

    Is it your intention that only the independently wealthy, the retired or persons who think that $18,000 is real money can serve in the legislature?

    Is it your desire that legislators get even more dependent on corporate and PAC funding to offset the costs of running district offices?

    If this is what you want, you’re sure to get your wish if we continue to pay 21st century public servants, 20th century wages.

    The last time any change in salary was made was in the early nineties when the House voluntarily voted itself a pay cut, from $18,000 to $17,640, during the Wilder administration cost cutting. How many of you have gone 14 years without even a cost of living increase?

    And, don’t go off on me now about the minimal increase these guys got in the office expense allowance. I support making this an allowance for which they account (which will convert it from personal income to employee expense reimbursement) but the amount that they get does not in most cases pay the real costs of maintaining an office back home.

    Unlike the Congress which fully funds district offices and prohibits accepting private funds to pay office costs, Virginia’s system is to pay little for office expenses and expect that legislators will make up the difference from campaign accounts.

    Any of you concerned about the influence of monied interests should, at least, support a system in which the state underwrites fully the cost of constituent services. Either that or we should learn to live with less service.

  3. P.S. These increases will not affect the salaries of incumbents (including the Lt. Governor whose salary is linked to the Speaker’s).The constitution prohibits them from raising salaries during their terms. So, the first folks who would see this money would be the Lt. Governor elected in 2009 and the members of the Assembly elected in 2007.

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