August 5, 2008

Royal Dispensations

Justin Katz

One often hears that the speaker of the Rhode Island House is the most powerful politician (along with the Senate president) in the state, but it takes a while to develop an appreciation of what the means. Here, for one indication, is evidence of their royal ability to dispense paid time off without having to face public scrutiny:

As a matter of stated policy, General Assembly employees are "capped at 140 hours of comp time per year." Working the standard 35-hour state workweek, that would be tantamount to a month off.

But, "exceptions can be granted by the speaker or president to exceed the cap," and this year, legislative spokesman Larry Berman acknowledges, the leaders granted an undisclosed number of additional hours, days and possibly weeks to 51 unidentified legislative staffers.

Had they been paid overtime, Berman acknowledges, those payments would be public information.

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How exactly is the public well served by either this policy or the non-disclosure of its implementation?

Posted by: Monique at August 5, 2008 7:54 AM

Answer to Monique's question: the public (and more importantly, the Taxpayers footing the bill) are NOT the least bit well served by this Entitlement-minded, public-tit sucking nonsense.

At the risk of breaking the "Andrew's rules of engagement" with respect to repeating things over and over and over again, this Entitlement-minded BS is one of the things that causes RI to be amongst the highest Taxed states in the nation.

Seriously, this is exactly the type of crap that needs to be exposed over and over again if we are to ever stand a chance of digging ourselves out of the hole that our Entitlement-minded Public employees have dug for us.

Quick, someone call Jim Hummell and get him on this ...retirement or not retirement.

Posted by: George Elbow at August 5, 2008 8:39 AM

"Quick, someone call Jim Hummell and get him on this"

Now there's a good point. The importance of a free press in good government efforts. Sometimes the best way to get something stopped is for the press (media of any sort, actually) to expose it. That's why it is frustrating and alarming to watch, for example, what has been happening at the Providence Journal: the non-coverage or omission of news, either as a deliberate act or due to insufficient staffing. Not to mention the steadily increasing replacement of straight-forward reporting by advocacy (or drama, as in the case of Jim Hummel's newly former television station.)

Posted by: Monique at August 5, 2008 10:48 PM
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