Your tax dollars at work
By RICK BRUNDRETT
Special to the Chronicle
Our state lawmakers have plenty of money for their needs.
The House started this fiscal year July 1 with a $23.7 million general-fund surplus.
That's nearly $1 million more than its entire budget.
The Senate had $5.8 million in general fund reserves, state comptroller general records show.
15 SC Senate staffers received pay hikes of up to nearly 34%.
Top paid is Senate Clerk Jeff Gossett who manages a $16.3 million budget.
He makes $225,000 annually, an increase of $14,864, or 7%.
Pay hikes for 14 others making at least $50,000 a year ranged from 5.4% to 33.6%.
73 employees earn at least $50,000 yearly.
They include 23 with annual salaries of at least $100,000.
In comparison, 78 House staffers make at least $50,000 yearly.
House Clerk Charles Reid is the top-paid employee at $212,250.
Reid manages the 124-member House with a $22.7 million annual budget.
Neither the Senate nor the House provide information to the state salary data base.
Tthe 10 top paid Senate staffers with pay hikes in parentheses:
- Jeff Gossett, clerk, $225,000 (7.07%);
- Michael Shealy, budget director: $176,181;
- Ken Moffitt, assistant clerk: $175,000 (11.9%);
- John Hazzard: counsel to Senate president: $169,646;
- Andy Fiffick, chief of staff, Judiciary Committee: $150,000 (8.93%);
- Heather Anderson, staff attorney: $150,000 (33.69%);
- Angie Willis, assistant research director, Finance Committee: $143,056;
- Martha Casto, chief of staff, Senate president: $127,500;
- Grant Gibson: assistant research director, Finance Committee: $125,609;
- Sara Parrish, counsel to the clerk: $125,000 (11.41%)
The 10 top paid House staffers:
- Charles Reid, clerk: $212,250;
- Patrick Dennis: personnel director, chief of staff: $212,000;
- Daniel Boan, chief of staff, Ways and Means Committee: $166,200;
- Emma Dean, chief counsel, Judiciary Committee: $154,000;
- Steven Davidson, chief legal counsel, Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee: $151,000;
- Pierce McNair, research director, Education Committee: $149,000;
- Donald Hottel, assistant clerk in charge, House research: $145,500;
- Jennifer Dobson, research director, Legislative Oversight Committee: $128,000;
- Kate Turner, budget director/counsel, Ways and Means Committee: $128,000;
- Mitchell Dorman, sergeant-at-arms: $115,000
Brundrett is the news editor of The Nerve. Contact him at 803-254-4411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.