Our state is in a deep financial crisis. In 2017, it missed more than 1 billion dollars reimbursement payment to Medicaid and 581 million in payments to school districts.
Our current legislators talk about cutting 53 seats to save 15 million dollars a year. Don’t change the number of legislators, change the salary. The work of representing Pennsylvania citizens’ interests in Harrisburg is a part-time job.
New Hampshire legislators get paid $100 a year. Pennsylvania lawmakers are paid approximately $100,000 a year. Why do Pennsylvania legislators make one thousand times more than New Hampshire legislators? If we adopted New Hampshire’s State Government Model we would save 60 million dollars a year.
All voters, Democrats and Republicans, have a rare opportunity this election cycle to change Pennsylvania’s Model of Government. We have this opportunity because 24 legislators are retiring.
We should challenge every candidate running for these empty seats to voluntarily adopt the New Hampshire model of government.
In this rare moment we should demand all candidates sign a pledge to limit their salaries to $100 a year. If all of Pennsylvania legislators adopted the New Hampshire Model, we would save taxpayers one billion dollars in just 17 years.
A 2016 Gallup poll that measured people’s confidence in their state government clearly found that confidence in state government goes down when lawmakers’ salaries go up. Pennsylvania is seventh from the bottom.
It’s time for a change.
Patricia Gambol, Blairsville