Rock The Capital released a review of current and former state legislators who accepted an increase in their pay through “unvouchered expenses” and refused to pay the money back.
Legislators who refused to return “unvouchered expenses” or donated the unconstitutional income to charities have benefitted through increased wages, “pension bounces” in 2006 and 2008, and job promotions in 2009-2010. In 2007, five pay jackers were appointed to the Speaker’s Reform Commission.
Initially, 131 House members and 27 Senators signed up for “unvouchered expenses.” Payments were received between July 7 and November 16, 2005, and ranged from $1,288 to $14,553.32 (before taxes). The repealed pay raises would have boosted lawmakers’ salaries from 16 to 54%, depending on seniority, rank, title and leadership.
Currently, 47 current and former House members as well as 11 current and former Senate members have profited from the unconstitutional salary adjustment.
Base salaries in July, 2005 for the rank and file – excluding per diems, perks, PSAs, pensions and paid health insurance – was $69,648. Base salaries in 2012 increased by 3% after the annual COLA adjustment. In seven years since the pay raise, a freshman’s minimum wage has increased by $12,378 and they now make $82,026 a year – excluding per diems, perks, PSAs, pensions and health insurance.
The tax payers’ burden will increase as sitting pay jackers retire or lose reelection bids. This year, two long serving pay jackers were defeated: Rep. Rick Geist (R-Blair) and Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia).
Additionally, this year marked another milestone – convictions and increased sentencing for legislative leaders including the following pay jackers: Senator Vincent. Fumo (Philadelphia), Rep. Bill DeWeese (D-Greene), Rep. John Perzel (R-Philadelphia), Rep. Stephen Stetler (D-York) and Rep. Mike Veon (D-Beaver).
Federal agencies are also investigating corruption allegations associated with Rep. Bill Keller (D-Philadelphia) and Sen. Raphael J. Musto (D-Luzerne).
In the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Rep. Todd Eachus (D-Luzerne) and seven staff members of the House Democratic Caucus have been sued by the former controller of the Caucus who claims she was fired for testifying about Bonusgate.
Download Rock The Capital’s Report:
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