Working Hard or Hardly Working?
Our state legislators have been belly-aching for a raise for awhile now, and they’ll probably give themselves one before current session ends. The poor dears have to get by on a mere $90,000 on average for a whopping 63 days of work each year. They also get an additional $154 per diem when they are in session, plus generous pension and inusrance plans. And almost all of them have outside employment.
Nevermind that the state is looking at a $4.4 billion deficit this year. These folks need a raise bad. Sheldon Silver is seeking around a 20% increase, and Eliot Spitzer says he’s inclined to go along.
Here’s a breakdown of the legislature’s workload for February (via NYPIRG and Albany Watch):
Total time in session: 15 hours, 3 minutes
Total bills passed: 149*
Average time spent debating each bill: 6 minutes, 4 seconds
Total session days: 8**
Total time in session: 4 hours, 16 minutes
Total bills passed: 101
Average time spent debating each bill: 2 minutes, 32 seconds*
Total session days: 9
*This does not factor in session time spent passing resolutions, introducing constituents in the audience, confirming appointments, or tending to other miscellaneous business. The actual time spent debating each bill is significantly lower.
**The Assembly did not convene on Super Tuesday, which is why they have one less session day than the Senate.
I suppose we should count our blessings. They could be up there spending our money and passing dumb laws full-time.