CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today announced his leadership team has streamlined the staff structure for the House of Delegates over the past two years, saving taxpayers more than $367,000 in annual payroll costs.
“When Republicans took control of the Legislature two years ago, we promised to make state government more efficient and to be better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars,” Speaker Armstead said. “Today, we demonstrate we have kept that promise and hope this serves as an example to others.”
On Wednesday, the House passed House Resolution 4, the annual resolution authorizing the appointment and payment of employees for the coming year.
In 2014, prior to the Republican majority, the House had 49 full-time employees, 68 per diem employees and an annual employee payroll of $3,121,075. This year the House will have 43 full-time employees, 52 per diem employees – a reduction of six full-time employees, 16 per diem employees and $367,417 in reduced annual payroll costs.
Those totals are strictly salary costs and do not include payment of additional benefits, such as employer insurance and retirement contributions, which would significantly increase the total overall savings.
“While we have trimmed our staff, it has not had any effect on productivity or the level of services provided at the Legislature,” Speaker Armstead said. “I commend our employees for the excellent work they do to assist lawmakers and serve our citizens.”
The reductions have been part of a multi-year effort to trim the House’s payroll costs. The annual savings on House staff compensation also come on top of more than $1.6 million in savings the Legislature has enacted over the last two years by streamlining the interim committee process and reducing compensation for lawmaker and staff travel. The Legislature also saved more than $300,000 last year by moving its printing in-house – annual savings which will continue in the coming session.
“We are leading by example, showing that government decision makers can make simple changes to save taxpayers significant amounts of money,” Speaker Armstead said. “In these difficult budget times, it’s more important than ever for government leaders to tighten our belts, cut the fat and rein in spending as much as possible.”