LETTER: 94th House candidate pledges to donate part of salary
One of the reasons that members of the voting public often resent their legislators is their ability to set themselves apart from the rest of us. In Pennsylvania, for example, the General Assembly gets a benefit package that is full of things that most of us either pay for or do without. It includes a excellent health care plan and a generous pension.
On top of that, salaries are significantly higher than the public. In fact, California is the only state with a higher average salary for state legislators. It currently starts at $86,478 and goes up automatically each year. The total compensation package, therefore, is significant. Then add the per diem of $179 to cover their daily expenses. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise since they set their own compensation.
My opponent in the 94th House District, Stan Saylor, now earns $117,000 a year. That is almost double the median household income in York County. It is more than double the individual male median of $40,500. He makes more than four times the average female worker in York County whose median is only $26,091. During his years in office Stan has earned almost $2 million.
To contrast his personal situation with his positions, I find it hypocritical that he criticizes public pension systems while receiving one himself. Also note that poverty has increased in his district under his 13 terms.
To help restore faith in our democratic system of government, politicians need to live closer to our level, not above us. When elected, I will not accept more than the median male income of $40,500 and will donate the rest to the United Way of York. Stan, since you are a household of just one, you should be able to match me.