1) No outside employment. A full time job is a full-time job, even if you do have to reapply for it every two to four years. It should take up most of your time. If you are earning, oh, say, nearly ten times that salary as a bank director while you are working for me “full-time,” I doubt I will have your full attention. Also, all assets go into a blind trust. If they want a federal salary, let’s have federal rules.
2) More accountability. Immediate access to voting records. No more of this waiting for the House Record to show up at the law library nonsense. Also, a firm, rigorous system of reporting lobbying expenses by special interests. I want the list of financial disclosure forms to be more readily available. The rule passed earlier this year saying legislators don’t have to be in the chambers to vote but just in “the greater Harrisburg area,” has got to go. For $80,000 a year they could at least show up to vote.
3) A more transparent legislative process. Bills seem to pop up out of nowhere and there doesn’t seem to any time for discussion or questions on some of them. A full-time, well-paid legislature should be able to arrange things better.
4) Change the car lease program. No more paying a flat fee towards their car leases. Let’s bid out a legislative fleet. If someone wants to drive something jazzier let them pay for it personally. Legislators from colder regions would be eligible for more substantial vehicles but everyone else gets the same sedan. They can personalize it with antenna ornaments, floormats, hanging car deodorizers, and bobbleheads in the back window. There is no real reason for this other than pettiness on my part, and the possibility that we could get a better deal this way.
I ran into Rep. Mark Cohen of the PA House and spoke to him for a bit. I wanted to talk to him about the pay raise and lack of raising the minimum wage, but my mind was/is just complete mush. I was content to talk about his plans during the summer recess, I wish I had me a summer recess and $80K in the bank. I don't think my mind will be out of a mush state until after the move, a solid month away.