The National congress has a full docket. Apparently, it takes a lot of work to completely restructure the economy through unprecedented health care and environmental reforms. Congressional leaders are coming out with the message that Its time to put in overtime. As an article in today’s Wall Street Journal notes:
It is a daunting schedule, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) are keeping lawmakers in Washington for five-day workweeks in July, rather than their usual Tuesday-through-Thursday routine.
Hopefully, the standard private-sector full work week won’t be too taxing for them, especially with all the taxing they will be doing anyway. According to the Library of Congress, the House of Representatives spent only 118 days in session in 2008. Thats down from 136 in 2008, and 153 in 1980.
Its not just Federal workers that are getting luxurious schedules. Accoriding to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Michael LaFaive:
According to the “Michigan House of Representatives Guidelines and Policies” chart of benefits, House staffers earn one vacation day for every 10 days they work (26 days total per year), on top of 12 official holidays. They also receive two bonus days for every five years of service. In other words, a five-year veteran of the House gets two months paid leave annually. State classified employees receive 13 official holidays in even-numbered years because Election Day is an official holiday, ostensibly to make it easier for them to vote.
Also, 16.5%, nearly 1/6, of Michigan’s state classified employee payroll went toward vacation holiday and sick leave pay in 2008. With already exorbitant salaries, more should be expected from our public servants.
Adam Rule – MCPP Intern