SIX FIGURES … AND THEN SOME …
You know … in addition to voting themselves pay raises.
Since January 2014, “the total payroll of House staff employees making at least $50,000 annually has increased by 11.3 percent to $4.53 million, while the total salaries of Senate staffers earning $50,000 or more jumped by about 8.3 percent to $4.86 million,” the report found.
Ah yes, “Republican-controlled” government … always growing. And always producing jack squat.
Anyway, buried within The Nerve story was a list of the highest-paid legislative staffers in each chamber. Included on that list? Senate medical affairs “research director” Martha Casto – who gets paid $102,000 a year (not counting benefits).
According to our sources, Casto does precious little research in her role – which like all legislative posts is basically a part-time position given that the General Assembly is out of session between July and December.
Casto’s job? Reporting to Senate “majority” leader Harvey Peeler – who hired the former Democratic staffer after her lengthy bureaucratic career.
Well, Casto is one of countless state bureaucrats who took advantage of the colossally short-sighted Teacher and Employee Retention (TERI) program – which enables state employees to briefly “retire” and then return to work, drawing both their pension and their new salary.
It’s called “double dipping,” and it’s a sweet scam – one which has contributed mightily to the state’s ballooning budgets.
Faced with soaring liabilities, lawmakers amended the program a few years back so that new employees were ineligible … but Casto (like so many politically connected bureaucrats) got in while the getting was good.
Must be nice …
South Carolinians are dirt poor, people. And one of the reasons they are dirt poor is their government simply refuses to stop growing. And one of the reasons it refuses to stop growing is scams like this.
Even if Casto were in the office full-time, twelve months a year – and doing amazing “research” – $102,000-a-year would be a stretch. The fact she’s receiving that AND the equivalent of a second salary?
It’s ridiculous … and it needs to stop. Now.