Before leaving office recently to accept a circuit judgeship, former Senate President David Williams doled out raises of as much as 14 percent to staff members.
Williams raised Chief of Staff Rebecca Harilson’s salary 5 percent to $113,712 — up from $108,288.
While it may be of interest that Harilson now makes $5,000 more a year than the lieutenant governor, what is more important: How many Kentucky taxpayers forced to support this nonsense received a 5 percent raise last year?
Keep in mind that Harilson also is a part of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System, which means that along with her salary, she receives the type of Cadillac pension and healthcare benefits that the hardworking taxpayers funding her salary can only dream of.
I can personally say that most of the staff members in the Senate President’s office are fine, hardworking people. But so are many, many people in the private sector, whom I would argue are doing much greater work in behalf of creating wealth and opportunity for our commonwealth, yet are not getting a 5 percent raise this year.
Besides, taxpayers should question whether $114,000 for the position that Harilson holds is a competitive salary. Many people in the private sector with the same skills and qualifications do the same type of work for 30 percent to 50 percent less.
Williams said the raises ensured that Senate staff members would be paid “commensurate to what the staff in the House makes,” and would help “keep good staff members from taking jobs elsewhere.”
Hmmmm. I wonder what CEOs in the private sector do when they want to give a raise but the money just isn’t there. But of course…they don’t have access to taxpayers’ (free) money!!