But bigger isn’t necessarily better!
While folks in Pennsylvania’s Legislature debate whether to reduce the size of itself (think fox in hen house here) we listened to a discussion on a radio program recently about the legislature in Texas. Wonder whether the citizens, rather than the foxes, ought to make that decision?
So Texas is a state of 268,597 square miles with a rapidly growing population of 28,300,000 while Pennsylvania encompasses 46,055 square miles and a slow-growth/no-growth population of 12,810,000.
Texas has 31 state senators and 150 state representatives. Pennsylvania has 50 state senators and 203 state representatives.
Texas legislature meets in regular sessions for 140 days every other year. Pennsylvania’s legislature meets “regularly throughout the year” with ample holidays interspersed throughout.
WikiPedia says, “State legislators in Texas make $600 per month, or $7,200 per year, plus a per diem of $190 for every day the Legislature is in session (also including any special sessions). That adds up to $33,800 a year for a regular session (140 days), with the total pay for a two-year term being $41,000. Legislators receive a pension after eight years of service, starting at age 60.”
How about taxes? “Texas does not collect state income tax from individuals. Texas has a state sales tax rate of 6.25%. Counties, cities, transit, and special purpose districts have the option to impose additional, local sales and use taxes. These tax rates can add up to 2% to the state sales tax, making the combined total tax rate as high as 8.25% on purchased items.”
“Pennsylvania personal income tax is levied at the rate of 3.07 percent against taxable income of resident and nonresident individuals, estates, trusts, partnerships, S corporations, business trusts and limited liability companies not federally taxed as corporations. The Pennsylvania sales tax rate is 6 percent. By law, a 1 percent local tax is added to purchases made in Allegheny County, and 2 percent local tax is added to purchases made in Philadelphia.”
Wonder whether the citizens, rather than the foxes, ought to make the decision about how big the legislature should be and how much they should get paid?