Lawmaker Perks Criticized In Wake Of Proposed Pa. Budget

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed state budget keeps his campaign promise to balance the budget without tax increases, but it comes at the price of cutting $1 billion in education.

If passed, the steep cuts will affect public schools and the state’s colleges.

What people really don’t like about this budget is what’s not being cut, like the state legislature. It’s the biggest full-time legislature in the country and one of the highest-paid.

While the governor is asking state employees to take pay cuts or freezes and pay more for health insurance, lawmakers continue to get annual cost of loving raises. Their current salary is $79,623 a year. Add to that a $163 a day per diem.

State senators pay just one percent of their health care costs. For state representatives, health care is free, courtesy the taxpayers.

But no one is making out in this proposed budget quite as well as Lt. Gov. James Cawley. His budget goes up 75 percent from $490,00 a year to $867,000. His spokesman says it’s because the last Lt. Governor served on an interim basis. They say his budget will be less than what the late Catherine Baker Knoll spent as Lt. Governor.

Cawley will continue to live in the Lt. Governor’s mansion in Fort Indiantown Gap. It’s a 2,500-sq. ft., three-story, stone house with a pool, pool house and a five-car garage. It’s run by a staff of six state employees. And you’ll be paying for renovations to the mansion.

But the Lt. Governor’s spokesman insists they are just minor repairs to the flooring and some painting. The spokesman wouldn’t say how much it’ll cost.

The governor’s staff makes out well in this budget too. Salaries average about $129,000 a year. That compares to average salaries of $116,000 under Ed Rendell.

But overall, Corbett’s office budget is down slightly from the Rendell administration.

The budget isn’t final. It still has to go through the legislature.

Group: Lawmakers Not Asked To Sacrifice In Proposed Budget
Schools, Parents React To Corbett’s Proposed Budget
Corbett Presents Budget With Steep Spending Cuts

Pa. Governor Tom Corbett
Pennsylvania General Assembly

  • chevelle64

    they should work for minimum wage and no benefits like we who pay them are expected to do, and what happened to sale of state liquor stores what a liar we should recall this jerk

  • schwartzer

    I was really hoping for change with corbett but he’s nothing more than a neocon. If he really wanted to cut spending he would not have added 250 state cops and would have eliminated the liquor stores and toll takers on the turnpike. He’s full of sh%% and continues to rape the private sector like the banksters are raping everyone.

    • Sharyn

      I don’t mean to be rude, but have you ever studied history? I’m certainly no expert, but I do know that the Republicans talk about spending reductions and do the exact opposite. Reagan spent enormous sums on his Star Wars idea. Who spent more unfunded federal monies than George W. Bush? Unless you can contribute 6+ figures to his next campaign, Corbett isn’t interested in what you care about. I certainly don’t like everything that the Democrats do but I’m sure that Dan Onorato was the better choice. With respect to your unhappiness with Corbett, I’ll defer to a vintage Bush bumper sticker “Don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for him.”

  • Realist

    I would like to see Corbet and the Lt. Gov “lead by example” and take a pay cut, freeze their salaries, and pay more for their health care–and health care for life. Then move out of the mansions and cut the staff that serve them in those overpriced homes.

    Then, maybe he could stand in front of the people of PA and ask them to do the same–until then, F*@% off Corbet!!!!!

  • really???

    Ohh, and the Lt Gov can live without a new paint job to his FREE house, when I can’t afford to pay to paint the house I actually PAY for, and he wants peole to take a pay freeze and cut the education buget so our school taxes go up, while he gets renovations done to his free house with his own personal staff–that is unbelieveable!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • David Leuthold

    There are so many disburbing facts in this story. Who will be Rep or Senator to stand up and propose a bill that would require Reps and Senators and staff to pay at least 25% of their health care premium? Come on. There must be at least one of you that knows the right thing to do.

  • Matthias

    Who is responsible for this? The apathetic residents of Pa.

    Vote them all out of office. That is the answer, plain and simple, yet will never happen because of the apathy of Pa residents.

    • Just Saying...

      What does apathy have to do with it? When we vote out the old and in the new they just follow suit. Different face, same results.

      • Matthias

        “When we vote out the old and in the new they just follow suit.”

        Oh? When did that ever happen?

        Apathy has everything to do with the way politicians run things today.

    • Sharyn

      Thank you, Matthias!! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • critter

    give him time morons. Ur boy Rendel put us in this mess

    • Sharyn

      Oh, the near collapse of our economy and huge federal deficit resulting in cuts in Federal funding was because of Ed Rendell. I won’t even expand on this because it’s evident your mind is made up.

  • Joy Halbrook Golembiewski

    I have emailed via the website and called our great governor once a week since the budget came out. I have been hung up on for my suggestions and no one in his office could tell me why education was being cut. All they told me is that he donated 3% of his income to a charity and cut his staff. Ok great, but I keep suggesting that he look at his “PERKS” and do away with one of them for a yr or the rest of his term. I did find out that the money cut from education was from the stimulus package and now that, the money wont come from the fed gov it has to cut from the budget. I have a copy of the budget and the educational break downs. I did not get it from the governors office I got it from the Lt. Governors office. I am wondering who is minding the store cause all the shelves are empty and there is no money to restock.

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