Former state representative of the 79th, Rick Geist, reportedly cashed out $48,122 during the 2011-12 session, and Senator John Wozniak took advantage of his per-diems, with earnings of $25,813. Of course the list goes with many state “leaders” taking advantage of these perks, but for many reasons, these “Honorable” individuals are wrong with what they are doing.
In the Commonwealth’s Constitution, Article II, section 8, it is clearly stated that, “The members of the General Assembly shall receive such salary and mileage for regular and special sessions as shall be fixed by law, and no other compensation whatever, whether for service upon committee or otherwise. No member of either House shall during the term for which he may have been elected, receive any increase of salary, or mileage, under any law passed during such term.”
Notice what the compensation for our state leaders permits: a salary and mileage- that’s it! Our legislatures are not entitled to the benefits that they get: per-diems, a pension, a state car, etc., and those benefits (by the way) are being run in clear violation of the Spirit of the Commonwealth’s Constitution.
This is the type of government that belies the proper role of government and betrays the people it is supposed to serve. Our politicians are breaking the backs of taxpayers by taking these lucrative benefits while in office, but they are continuing these benefits into their retirements. We need to pensions for elected officials, we need to end per-diems, we need to end automatic pay raises and we need term limits for state office.
Jesse J. Ickes