A Twitter friend was raging yesterday about what a giant waste of taxpayer money it was to hold a committee hearing on defunding Planned Parenthood when there is still hunger and unemployment in the world. I’m a bit more of a realist, allowing for the party in power to have their little dog and pony shows for the sake of the supporters who put them there, as ridiculous as we think they may be.

But just out of curiosity, I looked up how much money Ohio taxpayers actually spend on our “part-time” Legislature and the numbers are actually quite shocking.

Annual budgets:

  • Ohio House of Representatives:  $18,517,093
  • Ohio Senate: $10,911,095
  • Legislative Services Commission (who actually research & write legislation for office-holders): $21,340,530
  • Capital Square Review and Advisory Board (which maintains the Statehouse): $1,801,408

That’s $52 million in tax money spent each year for a body that was able to pass 58 bills in its last full two-year term.

To put it in perspective, the $104 million we spend on our legislature for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 would have made unnecessary all the cuts to libraries and prisons contained in Kasich’s two-year budget.

It’s also $1 million a week. By the way, legislators are currently in the middle of a three week spring break. So there’s $3 million down the drain. Or money well spent, depending on your perspective.

For reference, the annual payroll for the Cleveland Indians is $48 million. But I don’t know crap about baseball, so I’m pretty sure you’ll all explain to me why that’s actually a bigger waste of money.

Just a fun fact for your next trivia gathering.