Horrors,Legislators Out of Control!!!!!!

The bill for overtime sessions in the General Assembly have surpassed the $90,000 mark, according to the Warren Fiske at the Virginian-Pilot.

Gasp! Individual legislators are racking up a breath-taking $130 a day while twiddling their thumbs. Who do those guys think they are? The president of Exxon-Mobil?

K-Mart clerks, more likely. Most of these guys are professionals who get paid for their time. They’re losing money the longer the budget impasse continues and they cool their heels in Richmond.

Ninety-thousand dollars may be a lot to the Bacon household, but it’s a pimple on a mosquito’s butt in this year’s $53.9 million legislative budget: about 0.17 percent. As for the overtime’s impact on next year’s $17.9 billion General Fund budget, it doesn’t even register. G.A. overtime as a percentage of the total buget is so small my calculator won’t even calculate it. It doesn’t even amount to the the interest on the interest of state funds in the bank.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch also has made a big deal about the mounting cost of the extended session, dramatizing the numbers with informational graphics. My advice: Get over it. I’d much rather see our legislators take their time and get it right. Brother, what a non-issue.

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11 responses to “Horrors,Legislators Out of Control!!!!!!”

  1. kingfish Avatar

    Jim- I agree that getting it right is essential. However, for hundreds of years getting it done right and on time was not a difficulty. Since the GOP has taken over, however, it has become a recurring problem. Like the low priority given to higher education, this is another price we pay for right wing idealogically driven government.

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Since the GOP became the majority in the Senate there has been a huge problem with governance.

    The GOP in the House will raise education spending 19-20% in one budget. What is missing? What will extra dollars buy? What is their cause and effect for quality of education?

  3. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- please see my previous posts concerning the virtual abandonment of the commitment to financial access for all to a top quality higher education in Virginia.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Even $1 is a big deal when it comes to some things. Especially when state employees aren’t allowed to order pencils and other tools to do their job. Everything is denied in the name of “The Taxpayer’s Dollar” like the average taxpayer expects state employees to use outdoor toilets and personal blood for ink. You think they’re ranting in the paper, you ought to hear the auditors and agency heads out in the agencies! You haven’t even heard the tip of the iceberg!

  5. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    I want to know what agencies are denying pencil purchases. Where I work, there have been virtually no spending curbs.

    Although the bill for overtime is “chump change,” it’s still significant. Of course, we still have it and may yet have it more if a special session on transportation is the resolution.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Interesting….a state employee with enough time on his hands to “blog” calls $90,000 “chump change”.

    Hey buddy, how about spending you own darn money and refunding my tax “chump change?” And while you’re at it—Get the heck back to work.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Maybe – gasp – maybe, it’s time to look at going to a full time legislature???? I can already hear the objections, but perhaps the governance of a state as large and complex as Virginia requires more from elected officials than a couple of months in session each year? Perhaps that would reign in some agency – read bureaucrat and staff – power and install some checks and balances. Or perhaps it will result in more gridlock, more expenses, and poorer legislation.

    But given the size, scope, and scale of the decisions taken by the legislature, I think it is an idea worth considering. Besides, if local government Board’s have to meet monthly, if not bi-monthly to run relatively small budgets, wouldn’t it make sense that larger governments require more time be spent at leading by those with the keys to the car???

  8. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Anonymous 9:35. Yeah, $90,000 is chump change compared to the $1 billion in new taxes that some members of the General Assembly want taxpayers to pay. And it’s chump change compared to the hundreds of billions, maybe even billions, of dollars mis-spent every year through misplaced priorities. The situation is analogous to you obsessing over whether to pay an extra $.99 for the Biggy Fries instead of the Regular Fries when you should be worrying where you’re going to find the money to make that next $1,200 mortgage payment.

  9. Anonymous 9:35 Avatar
    Anonymous 9:35

    Mr. Bacon seems to be a little defensive here. Myobjection is that those supping at the public trough ought not to call any of our hard earned money “chump change.” And he certainly ought not to do it at 2:08 pm when (I assume like most of us) he should be at work.

    But heck, maybe “blogging” is work in Virginia’s “new economy.”

    And, by the way, I’m self employed so this is on my own nickle–not the taxpayers’!

  10. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Anonymous 9:35, I, too, am self-employed — that’s how I get away with blogging at all hours of the day and night. My wife is the only one who can get mad at me!

    Back to your main point… there are very few people in blogdom or the press who have campaigned more consistently and done more reporting for the cause of reducing state spending and keeping taxes low. But I also have enough experience in the business world to know that savings don’t just materialize miraculously, and to know that enduring savings can’t be achieved with the stroke of a pen. Restructuring, re-engineering and reconceptualizing the way government services are delivered takes a lot of attention. I don’t begrudge our legislators for spending the time it takes to get things right.

    If you begrudge the use of the word “chump” change, that’s your prerogative. But you’re focusing on the wrong goal. You’re focused on saving the pennies; I’m focused on saving the pounds.

  11. Anonymous 9:35 Avatar
    Anonymous 9:35

    How about getting an honest days work fro our bureaucrats for the tax dollar?

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