Increasing the Size of Legislative Staff
H.4801 would amend the rules of the House of Representatives to allow each House member to appoint one full time staffer to perform such duties related to the member’s service in the House.
H.4802 would similarly amend the House rules to allow each member to appoint one full time staffer, except this staffer would be able to work in the member’s district.
Finally, H.4800 would amend the House rules to allow each “four member suite” to appoint a full time staffer.
All of these bills would cause an unnecessary expansion of an already bloated legislative staff. The Nerve has reported that as of March 2015 the House of Representatives employed 82 full time staffers, while the Senate employed 119. Nor is that all. In 2015 the House employed 37 legislative aides at an hourly rate, and had the option of employing up to 144 pages. The total annual payroll for listed staffers in the General Assembly ranges from $12.3 to $12.7 million.
The House and Senate are part time bodies that employ hundreds of staffers, aides, and pages. If anything, the sheer size and cost of existing legislative staff shows that this category of employees should be reduced not expanded. If the current level of staffers is insufficient for the General Assembly’s needs it doesn’t mean they need more staffers, it means they’re doing too much.