Friday, December 11, 2009

Small State, Fat Legislators

Yesterday, in Maryland Reporter, Len Lazerick reported that the members of Maryland’s General Assembly “are the nation's second-highest paid part-time lawmakers.”

They may be in for a raise too.

“A 9-member compensation commission began work this week on whether legislators will get a pay hike after the next election. The panel will also review pensions and expenses such as lodging and meals, with recommendations due Jan. 27.”

Members of the assembly also enjoy a pretty liberal policy when it comes to their expenses too. Unlike private industry, they are not required to produce receipts for their expenses.

“Simon Powell, an analyst with the Department of Legislative Services who is staffing the commission, said he believed it decided receipts would be “cumbersome” and create “a lot of paperwork.”


I’ve never worked anywhere that I wasn’t required to submit a receipt for reimbursement of my expenses. This seems to be a system designed for abuse.

This year taxpayers reimbursed their elected representatives for $1.8 million in lodging and $439,000 for meals for 90 days of work. If they are really serious about trying to find ways to stretch the state budget during these lean years, they would be well served by taking a hard look at their own spending habits.

Of course they could also consider my other idea too.


Freemarket said...

Government never ceases to amaze me.