An Indication of the View from the Top
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.