December 6, 2010

An Indication of the View from the Top

Justin Katz

Anybody who wonders what lesson the General Assembly's Democrats took from the last election need only read this:

"In our effort to achieve savings, we have worked diligently to manage the legislative department within the enacted budget levels without seriously impacting day-to-day operations," wrote [House Speaker Gordon] Fox in a cover letter that also spelled out his bid to increase the part-time legislature's budget from $38.7 million this year, with 299 staffers, to $40.3 million in the new budget year that begins on July 1, 2011, with the same number of employees.

In dollars alone, this would mark a 20-percent increase — $6.8 million — over the $33.5 million the General Assembly actually spent in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2009, according the budget filing.

Most of the proposed increase over the three-year span is attributed to "salary/wages and benefits."

Those paragraphs come at the end of an article about Fox's sweeping of some political opposition out of the General Assembly's paid staff. Clearly, the Speaker took the election as evidence that his backers have a lock on the state. I suspect that the next two years will show us the repercussions when that's the case.


See here for a mitigating consideration. Much of the increase in the budget might be attributable to a required redistricting expense.

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I've heard from the legislators themselves that they're not happy with the quality of the work coming out of the back offices... I don't have much (any?) faith in Speaker Fox, but I really hope these recent changes improve the situation.

Posted by: mangeek at December 6, 2010 2:04 PM

I do not expect that these changes will improve the situation one bit. The Left has consolidated its hold on power in the state government and will stop at nothing to entrench themselves. Particularly so as this election gave them a scare.

You can expect scorched-earth tactics and endless dirty tricks during the next two years.

Posted by: BobN at December 6, 2010 3:52 PM

Sounds like the company line mangeek. Then again I'm sure the departed as well as the replacements were all selected based on their high skill level and integrity.

Posted by: G-Man at December 6, 2010 7:35 PM

The state has never been so broke and our state gov't is INCREASING its staffing budget???

Not to mention that the population of the state has gone down. Accordingly, what is the justification for increasing any line item of the state gov't budget?

Public unions complain (sometimes correctly) about excessive administrative costs. Can we hear from them about these administrative costs? Or did public pensions magically get fully funded over the last week, obviating a better use for that $6.8 million?

Posted by: Monique at December 6, 2010 9:16 PM
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