Even More Fallout from Pennsylvania

From The Clarion News:

Not only has the pay raise angered voters, but it also has provided ammunition for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania to make inroads with voters.

The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania issued a statement Aug. 16 blasting the pay increase.

“With their recent pay increase, the Pennsylvania legislature is now arguably the largest and most expensive in the country,” said LPP spokesperson Doug Leard. “Salaries range from a minimum of $81,000 to a top salary of over $145,000 with base pay ranking second only to California legislators.

“Pennsylvania also has the largest number of legislators in the nation except for New Hampshire (a ‘citizen legislature’ where legislators are paid $200 per two-year term). As a result, the Pennsylvania legislature now ranks first in total amount of salaries paid to legislators, 22 percent higher than second place New York.”

This part is also pretty incredible… legislators were almost brought to blows over raising their own salaries? And there was no public debate, but there was heated internal debate? WHY? If anyone really opposed this, why didn’t they stand up and demand that there be a real debate on the floor.

“I understand people are upset and I think they have a reason to be,” state Rep. Fred McIlhattan (R-63) said this week of the July 7 pay raise the state legislature voted for itself.

McIlhattan voted against the 16 to 34 percent pay raise and told the Clarion News he is not using a legal loophole to collect the raise a year and a half early in the form of unvouchered expenses.

“I believe I am adequately compensated,” McIlhattan said when asked about his vote on the pay raise. “I didn’t think an increase was needed.”

The pay raise was approved around 2 a.m. and without any public debate on the issue, but McIlhattan said there was plenty of debate between Republican Caucus members.

“There was a lot - a lot - of bitter discussion and debate,” said McIlhattan. “It almost turned into a fist fight. There was heavy debate, heated debate, in caucus. It was pretty nasty. It probably split the caucus up. I don’t think the caucus will be same again.”

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