Vermont Legislative Pay: Is it too low or too high?

Yesterday, I heard some discussion on the Charlie and Ernie show regarding legislative pay. It seems that many people are under the impression that the pay is low and that it shouldn’t be cut like other state employees that are making more than $60,000/year. The argument is that legislative pay is only $625.36/week or $11,256 for 18 weeks or $7.93/hour.

However, you need to factor in the allowances. They get reimbursed for their gas and then they get allowances for meals and rooms, which I believe they keep even if they don’t use for those purposes.

I don’t think many people in the private sector get reimbursed for commuting costs. I don’t know anyone that does.

Just the food and room allowances alone are an extra $735/week, if they are in session 5 days a week, not even including the gas reimbursements.

So, if you combined the pay plus allowances that would be $1,360.36/week or $70,738.72/year, with allowances for commuting at $38,220 alone. Do you know anyone who gets an extra $38,220/year just for traveling back and forth to work within the state?  Someone living in Montpelier or nearby definately doesn’t need travel allowances.

So if the legislature is in session for 18 weeks, this puts the actual legislative pay at about $24,486.48. This is for only 18 weeks of work… not bad at all, sounds like very good compensation to me if these figures are correct, what do you think?

Please note, the numbers I used for these calculations were pulled from the AP article: Vt. House votes down legislative pay cut

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