After we broke the story about the Senate staffers’ salaries, Senate President Tom Niehaus said they were necessary and in line with SB 5’s “merit-pay” provisions. Governor John Kasich has said essentially the same thing in justifying the huge salaries of his chief-of-staff Beth Hansen (when compared to Strickland’s chief-of-staff) and Jai Chabria, the “special” assistant to the Governor (who makes more money than… the Governor.)
I’m trying to conceptualize how this “merit-pay” thing works in this instance for these positions. So, will Ohio Senate Communication Director Jason Mauk, Hansen, and Chabria have to take a pay cut if Issue 2 is defeated? And what happened to the salaries of the folks behind Kasich’s decision to not renew Strickland’s exotic animal ban executive order and do nothing about the issue until Zanesville?
And more importantly, if taxpayers have to pay these large salaries now, what is it going to cost us, heaven forbid, if Kasich’s approval rating ever breaks 40%? I’m afraid such a development could bankrupt the State.
And since giving those raises to keep people in the Senate, Niehaus has seen several top people leave anyways. Did they get to keep their retroactive raises? Will the Senate have to give even more raises now? I mean, as we enter this final week of Issue 2 debating just how much Ohio law should require a firefighter, police officer, or prison guard should have to spend for their own health care, what about the more important issue of political hack pay?
Won’t someone think of what the defeat of Issue 2 would do to political hack pay in Ohio?