February 27, 2009

GOP lawmakers cost taxpayers extra, Wright charges

Are Republican state lawmakers are gouging the taxpayers?
The General Assembly staff serving the Republicans is disproportionately high, a Democratic legislator from Bristol charges.
Freshman state Rep. Chris Wright, who serves the 77th District, said GOP staff costs per legislator are significantly higher than they are for Democrats.
Wright said the Republican caucus in the state House spends about $70,000 for each of the lawmakers it serves.
The Democratic caucus costs about $43,000 per lawmaker, Wright said.
In the state Senate, the staff costs per Democrat total a little more than $100,000, he said, while Republican senators' staff cost come to about $140,000 per GOP senator.
"People have a right to know how much they're spending on their legislators," Wright said.
Most lawmakers have an aide who works for several other legislators as well, along with a portion of a press aide's time. More senior politicians have larger staffs.
The staffs get pretty big.
Wright said the House Republicans have more staff members than lawmakers. That's also true for state senators on both sides of the aisle, he said.
Only the House Democrats outnumber their staff, Wright said.
Wright said he finds it interesting that the GOP in the legislature is so keen to cut programs for the poor, the elderly and others who need help but "they won't want to cut their own staff."
Wright said the Republicans can prove so obstructive that one Democratic legislator couldn't even have an office until a month into the term because a GOP lawyer wouldn't move his desk to make room.
Instead of making the move, he said, the General Assembly had to construct a new office for the new Democrat.
There are 36 Republicans and 114 Democrats in the state House. The Democrats control 24 of 36 state Senate seats. The Democrats' advantage has grown over the past decade as support for the GOP has dwindled.
Wright is seeking legislation to limit the number of employees the General Assembly can hire.
He said that having staff numbers proportional to the number of members in each caucus is "only fair" and the current imbalance in favor of the Republicans should be changed.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

BLAH BLAH BLAH! Stop crying and worry about how you can cut taxes and keep the state from filing bankruptcy!

Anonymous said...

Why are there no numbers provided as to the actual ratio of staffers to elected officials broken down party? Do both parties get the same amount of office money to run their offices? Then it would make sense that maybe fewer people means hire average staffer costs because there are fewer of them. If it were to turn out that both sides being equal as to staff size and dollars allocated then yes something needs to be done. I just want more data to make that decision.

I find it really hard to believe that the minority costs more than the majority.

Anonymous said...

This jamoke hasn'tfound the men's room yet but he is ready to take on the GOP caucus?

Maybe the Republicans need more staff to ferret out the insidious stuff the Democrats are constantly trying to get away with.

Anonymous said...

GOP cowards are big spenders (on themselves) talk about wasting money !

Anonymous said...

Does that include the $165,000 Press Agent?

Anonymous said...

Howabout the $103,000 loser?

Concerned Conservative said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Concerned Conservative said...

Well gee Chris Wright maybe because all the staff are protected by unions? You want to lay off people? Don't you care about people regardless of party affiliation or are you hoping the state will create more jobs for your cronies?

Using your logic Chris Wright, should we then compare the amount of state employees at each agency per capita in Connecticut compared to other states?

Since there are more Democrats in the Legislature then let's count the amount of money spent on tax-payer funded press releases your party distributes regularly compared to the Republicans. Obviously using that formula the Democrats use more tax payer money to spread their deceptive propaganda than Republicans do spreading the truth.

What's really sad is that in these trying fiscal and economic times all we get from our State Rep. in the 77th District is childish, partisan political hog-wash. Chris Wright should be ashamed of himself, but more important he should serve only one term

Anonymous said...

There's something really fishy about Wright's tale.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Wright is a mess at the Capital and even the Dem's are hoping that he is only there one term.

Anonymous said...

Understanding laws and balancing budgets is a lot harder than filling out forms with peoples names and addresses and photocopying insurance id cards.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it. If Chris's father wasn't Gardner Wright, he wouldn't be within a mile of getting into elected office. he is Bristol's Democrat version of George W. Bush.

Anonymous said...

I wish Wright was anything like Bush. We couldn't be that lucky.

Anonymous said...

Any truth to the story that Nicastro got his girl friend a job at the capitol?

Anonymous said...

Good thing Nicastro didn't get ALL of them jobs at the Capitol!

Anonymous said...

2:46

Wright is Bristols Art Ward in Hartford.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

"Well gee Chris Wright maybe because all the staff are protected by unions? You want to lay off people? Don't you care about people regardless of party affiliation or are you hoping the state will create more jobs for your cronies?"

Legislative staffers aren't unionized.

"Using your logic Chris Wright, should we then compare the amount of state employees at each agency per capita in Connecticut compared to other states?"

When it comes to the legislature there is a predominant problem where staffers are highered for political connections and cronyism rather than experience. Though I'm sure there are some who have experience.

"Since there are more Democrats in the Legislature then let's count the amount of money spent on tax-payer funded press releases your party distributes regularly compared to the Republicans. Obviously using that formula the Democrats use more tax payer money to spread their deceptive propaganda than Republicans do spreading the truth."

Or perhaps we should chastise the Republicans for putting a former State Senator in an empty position on the payroll at $100,000.

Look the bottom line is that the staffers in both parties are top heavy, and many of them are useless.

People should know how much they are paying on legislative staff, and they should be capped for both parties. It's important to remember that when you work up there you're doing the people's business and not your own.

But it's the state legislature and I doubt this will even make it out of committee. Oh well.

Concerned Conservative said...

"there is a predominant problem where staffers are highered:

-What exactly does it mean "to higher" (sic) someone?

"Legislative staffers aren't unionized"

-I believe all state employees are members of some sort of union.

"Or perhaps we should chastise the Republicans for putting a former State Senator in an empty position on the payroll at $100,000"

-I'm not sure what you're talking about, but you must be outraged by Michele Obama getting $317,000 per year from the state run U of Chicago for doing virtually nothing in a position that has since been eliminated.

Concerned Conservative said...

anonwestconn:

Hopefully someday an organization (preferably private) will HIRE you and you'll get a clue about the real world.