Thursday, May 10, 2007

New York 18th in Per Capita Spending on Legislature

New York isn't at the bottom of every list.

This morning’s edition of the Daily Courier, a Pittsburgh-area newspaper, featured an article about the movement in Pennsylvania to reduce the size of the General Assembly, which is the second-largest state legislature in the country. Currently, the House has 203 members and the Senate has 50.

A special committee of the General Assembly is considering proposals to cut the size and cost of the body. A researcher from the National Conference of State Legislatures testified that in 2005, Pennsylvania spent $23 per resident on its legislature, making it the third most expensive per capita in the nation. Alaska came in at $47.52 per resident and Rhode Island spent $23.86.

So where’s New York on this list? We’re the third most populous state, we have the third-highest paid legislators in the nation, and we have the second-highest rate of general government expenditures. But we only come in 18th in amount spent per capita on our legislature.

Anybody have a plausible explanation? Comment away...

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