How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

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Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="MarkSeger"] ...But without raising taxes to do this, reduce the number of Legislators. If we have two Senators to represent the whole State on the Federal level, is it really need to have more then one Senator per county at the State level? [/quote]

One reason that money and programs seem to flow toward and benefit Southern Maine, promting the age-old "two Maine's" debate, is that representation in both houses of the legislature is fixed by population. I have long endorsed reapportioning the state senate at two, or even one, senator per county.

J. McKane
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Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="rklindell"]I have figured the economic value of the compensation we receive to be about $34,000 per year. That includes an average of $10,000 of pay $8,000 of health insurance $6,000 - $8,000 of expense reimbursement plus $1500 of "constituent service" money plus the value ($6500+) of retirement benefits and life and disability insurance.

The pay is very good for a part-time job. [/quote]

That 34 K is a stretch at best. I would not call it a part-time job, either. My old job became the part-time job.

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="DalekMagi"] I have heard all the arguments about how "better people would run if there was more pay," but that's just a myth. It's not supposed to be a career, or a cash-cow. Serving in government is supposed to be a civil service, something you do for the betterment of your country. [/quote]

For no particular reason, this post makes me think about the so-called Clean Elections law, which, as we were originally sold on it, was supposed to help even the playing field so that more people could run for office. Leaving aside the fact that party reps now want to kill funding for "fringe candidates," I've never felt that money was needed to help people run for office.

The problem, as I see it, is that conventional wisdom says capaigning means paying for consultants, signs, buttons, advertising, direct mailers and tv/radio spots. I don't buy that. Candidates can get all the coverage they want by organizing debates, interviews and public rallies. If the candidates are out there publically debating the issues, especially against each other, most news outlets -- certainly mine -- will cover it.

But it seems to me that the citizen legislature does not represent a true cross section of Maine's electorate because most rank-and-file citizens can't afford to serve. I think that's why you don't see as many excavators, electricians, or truck drivers in the state house as you do on most local selectboards. I have never seen an occupational survey of legislators, but I'm betting you could hardly throw a brick in any direction at the state house without beaming someone up side the head who has a background in education, health care, or social services.

Coincidence that these are the fields that are running us all into the poorhouse?

What I would like to see is to have candidates fend for themselves while campaigning. Maybe even impose spending limits. I don't buy the free speech argument about campaign spending because I'll print anything the candidate has to say for free.

But what I would like to see would be a modification of the Clean Elections law, so that the money went instead to compensate legislators for a percentage of lost income while serving, up to a maximum limit. Also, if there are none already, there should be guarentees that a worker cannot lose their job while serving. Should money go to hiring a replacement worker? And how would the money help someone who is self-employed when losing the boss means shutting down the business? All things to consider.

At any rate, I wonder if money should be directed at removing all obstacles to serving, instead of helping people spend more to *maybe* get elected.

See also: insurance, where effort should go into figuring out why health care costs so damn much and reducing the price tag, rather than merely helping people pay ever-escalating premiums.

My two cents.

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Duke Harrington"]One reason that money and programs seem to flow toward and benefit Southern Maine, promting the age-old "two Maine's" debate, is that representation in both houses of the legislature is fixed by population. I have long endorsed reapportioning the state senate at two, or even one, senator per county.[/quote]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1960's that both houses of state legislative bodies must be apportioned by population.

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Apollo"]The legislators should be paid a decent wage, say $75,000 a year each. Otherwise, the only people you are going to have in the legislature are going to be:

- independently wealthy, or
- retired
[/quote]

And people who can take sabbaticals?

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Dan Billings"]

As for the $75K suggestion, why would we ever pay legislators more than the average income in the state?[/quote]

Why do we pay many school superintendants four times the average income?

Why did we agree to bump the minimum teacher wage when contracts with the bargaining units mean it will raise salaries for all teachers all the way up the pay scale, at the expence of local taxes?

Why are we paying the Commisioner of Education a decent salary when she is also collecting retirement benefits?

Your schools,
Your shorthairs,
Deathgrip.
'Nuff said!

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Dan Billings"]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1960's that both houses of state legislative bodies must be apportioned by population.[/quote]

Having been little more than a zygot for much of that decade, the memo appears to have escaped me. :wink:

I shall file the notice under both, "Things I did not know," and "Stupid rulings to be overturned when the energy strikes."

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

Analogizing counties to states is the real stupidity.

The states created the national government.

The states created counties. The counties did not create the states.

The states are the fundamental, most important level of government in our federal system. (Or at least they are supposed to be.) The same is not true of counties.

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Dan Billings"]

The states are the fundamental, most important level of government in our federal system. [/quote]

I respectfully disagree. I believe the individual is the most important level of government.

I'd also debate the importance of when, and by whom, the counties were created. After all, the King created the colonies, and I sort of recall that -- some time ago -- we more or less settled the debate over whether the act of creation dictates universal supremacy in perpetuity.

I stand by my earlier assesment that an elegent compromise on the national level is just as valid when applied on the state level. The solution that keeps large stand from lording over small states (or, is supposed to) might also keep more populous counties from pushing through laws at the expence of the less populous ones. Spreading the power base over a larger area, evenly distributed across the state, would help to stem the tide of excesses wroght by too small and too local a direct democracy. As you noted, we live in a Federal Republic, and representation in the state legislature should reflect that form of government as well as it does to Congress.

My goodness. You'd think even a casual reading of No. 10 in The Federalist Papers would have stayed the Supreme Court's hand.

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

If you really believed the individual was most important, you would not object to equal representation based on the one-person/one vote principal.

Who created the bodies is important. The state legislature may change the boundaries of a county or even eliminate a county by simply passing a statute. Congress can't change the boundary of a state without the state's consent.

Robert
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Joined: 04/01/2005 - 1:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Duke Harrington"]
I have long endorsed reapportioning the state senate at two, or even one, senator per county.[/quote]

That would be nice. But let's take it a little further. Legislators should not be able to make laws. They can propose them, but voters would have to approve them each June and November.

An example of a stupid law. We can no longer pass another vehicle on a solid yellow line. Try driving 100 from Auburn to Portland, or vice versa, getting behind someone doing 20 below the speed limit. Who thought up that stupid law. Some legislator not paying attention on the road and had someone pass him or her!

attic owl
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Joined: 04/12/2000 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

Bob Celeste is roughly on the right track. What surprises me is the seeming acceptance of the idea, by AMGers, that we need so much work from the Legislature. It seems legislators go to Augusta with the task of passing laws and, even though we need rarely need new laws, they throw several hundred more on the pile. We have a surplus of effort in the law making department. They should be paid for two weeks of effort every two years for non budget work and a special session of a few weeks to do budget work. Judge how much money they should get for that. It is a collosal mistake to generate a constant churning of the laws---i.e. changing them every couple of years. The costs of this practice to individuals and businesses are tremendous. The ever relentless passage of more laws does, at least, these things (1) lessens compliance, (2) reduces the citizen's knowledge of what is going on so they can vote sensibly, (3) gives the press no chance to keep up, (4) creates a need for thousands of quasi-lawyers employed by businesses to keep straight of regulations, and increases the need for more lawyers to try to sort it all out in courts which greatly increases buinsess expenses, (5) reduces law enforcement because the enforcers cannot keep up with production, and (6) even thwarts the legilslators themselves from paying close attention to what laws are needed.

There must be a limit to the number of laws needed in a well ordered state. Surley we have exceeded that number many many decades ago. Do each of you know, really know, the latest 25 laws passed by the government, what or who is covered by the laws, and penalties, if any, involved with failure to comply with those laws? If you don't, what does that tell you?

J. McKane
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Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Duke Harrington"] Also, if there are none already, there should be guarentees that a worker cannot lose their job while serving. Should money go to hiring a replacement worker? And how would the money help someone who is self-employed when losing the boss means shutting down the business?

My two cents.[/quote]

Now we're getting a little carried away. Just some more cash would help.

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Dan Billings"]If you really believed the individual was most important, you would not object to equal representation based on the one-person/one vote principal.

Who created the bodies is important. The state legislature may change the boundaries of a county or even eliminate a county by simply passing a statute. Congress can't change the boundary of a state without the state's consent.[/quote]

Hello Dan?

Virginia called. They'd like that little chunk of real estate on their western boarder back. For a more local refrence, see also: The Aroostook War.

And while I gave you a pass on impugning my intelligence with your "the real stupidity" quip, once you stoop to telling me what I "really believe" (one man/ one vote is not the same concept as absolute democracy, by the way) you've shown me that your debating technique falls somewhere in the neighborhood of piss poor.

You lose.

We're done.

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Duke Harrington"]Hello Dan?

Virginia called. They'd like that little chunk of real estate on their western boarder back.[/quote]

Virginia had seceded from the union when West Virginia was created.

[url=http://www.wvculture.org/History/statehood/statehood06.html]This web page indicates that the State of Virginia voted for West Virginia being split from the Commonwealth.[/url]

Anonymous
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

[quote="Dan Billings"][quote="Duke Harrington"]Hello Dan?

Virginia called. They'd like that little chunk of real estate on their western boarder back.[/quote]

Virginia had seceded from the union when West Virginia was created.

[url=http://www.wvculture.org/History/statehood/statehood06.html]This web page indicates that the State of Virginia voted for West Virginia being split from the Commonwealth.[/url][/quote]

Read ahead to [url=http://www.wvculture.org/History/statehood/statehood12.html] this page [/url] and a slightly different picture emerges. In point of fact, the "State of Virginia" voted for no such thing. A small, vichy-like proxy government voted to okay the change, thereby circumventing the constitution without so much as a mother-may-I from the larger part of Virginia.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

While we are at it let's look at this with another question.

Why will I pay a plummer $65.00 an hour to come to my house and glue two pieces of
plastic pipe together utilizing $.02 worth of glue and $2.00 of pipe :?: :?:

That doesn't seem to bother most people , but paying someone to come up with solutions to
problems or implement billions in spending does? Benefit package for leg. wasin place before term limits I believe.
This was something the champions of limits failed tolook at!

I would like to see a accounting of how much time a member of our legislature actuallys
spends on job,while in session or in district! I believe actual hours when applied to compensation
would be reasonably distasteful to alot of 40 hr.a week workers.

There is the thought that "you get what you pay for" could attimes apply!

If one looks at school sup.jobs based on responsibility , hours ,and BS one has to put up with few comparble
executive type positions would pay less!
Isn't it strange that while we complain about these salaries we think nothing of buying a $20.00
baseball cap that helps some athelete make millions of dollars a year from there employer :!:

It is easier to bitch about a poitician thoughthan Jose "America been good to " me who ever.

Bruce Libby
Online
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

While we are at it let's look at this with another question.

Why will I pay a plummer $65.00 an hour to come to my house and glue two pieces of
plastic pipe together utilizing $.02 worth of glue and $2.00 of pipe :?: :?:

That doesn't seem to bother most people , but paying someone to come up with solutions to
problems or implement billions in spending does? Benefit package for leg. was in place before term limits I believe.
This was something the champions of limits failed to look at!

I would like to see a accounting of how much time a member of our legislature actuallys
spends on job,while in session or in district! I believe actual hours when applied to compensation
would be reasonably distasteful to alot of 40 hr.a week workers.

There is the thought that "you get what you pay for" could at times apply!

If one looks at school sup.jobs based on responsibility , hours ,and BS one has to put up with few comparble
executive type positions would pay less!

Isn't it strange that while we complain about these salaries we think nothing of buying a $20.00
baseball cap that helps some athelete make millions of dollars a year from their employer :!:

It is easier to bitch about a poitician though than Jose "America been good to me "who ever.

EJ
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 1:01am
How Much do Maine Legislators Get Paid

Does the legislatures pay get exempt from Maine Income Tax?

I too have often wondered why the sessions were scheduled as they were, for no wealthy folks, it is tough to attend a session if you are working a 40 hour shift, even if you scheduled your vacations properly.

EJ

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