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.

  • That was a mean thing you said about the Indians. 

  • An incredibly simplistic argument.  So … why don’t we cut their pay from around $60K (for your garden variety legislator)  to say … $5K/year.  That’d save over $7 million a year right there!

    And what would you get???

    More and more rich people and more and more lawyers (but I repeat myself – somewhat)

    Does THAT sound like a bright idea?  Doesn’t to me.  Let’s pick a name we’ve heard a lot of on this blog lately, Donna O’Connor, running in the 21st district state house primary this Tuesday.  She’s a teacher in Dublin.

    Let’s assume she wins the election in November after winning the primary.  She won’t be able to be a teacher anymore.  She won’t be able to hold down her job while being a State Rep.  Nor would I as a computer analyst, nor would most people who work a full time job.

    Lawyers would be able to, however … they can get less clients and still be a state rep.  And if a teacher quits their job and they have 5+ years of experience, they won’t likely EVER get back into a teaching position.  Trust me on this.  If I were to quit my job and try to come back in say 4 years, it would be very hard for ME to get another job in my field.

    And if you think this is a part time job, why don’t you run for one of these seats and get back to me on that.  You’ll find out you’re talking through the back of your neck.

  • pb_dirtgirl

    Sorry, comparing them to the legislature was totally unfair.

  • Spitfiremk1

    I agree, the Indians comment was below the belt; at the very least they can make you smile a couple of times in the season.  But I can’t help but wonder how much you should have added to the $52 for the taxpayers to defeat SB5 last year.  Maybe we are only wasting our money in certain years (like in 2011).  It’s too bad we have to spend another 3 years wondering around the desert with Kasich but at least we have a chance to cut our losses with the Gang Of Pirates in the legislature this year.

  • Danngoingdown1

    don’t forget to remind everyone that the worst speaker in ohio history, democrat armond budish, stonewalled legislation in the ohio house and cancelled more session days than any speaker in memory. 

    how many bills have been passed since the legislature reverted to all republican control? here’s a hint – almost 3x as many. 

  • Spitfiremk1

    And YOU forgot to remind everyone that all of the “3x as many” were bad ones, too!  The present group of pirates who call themselves a “legislature” are a boil on the behind of OHIO and they can’t be removed soon enough for me.

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