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Harrisburg waste, part V

Here is the fifth installment of waste in the legislature, as detailed in the recent grand jury report.

Getting rid of the legislature's employees who work solely on PennDOT paperwork would save taxpayers more than $1 million per year.

PennDOT has taxpayer-funded offices around the state and a Web site to help residents and businesses apply for driver licenses, register vehicles or handle title work. Even so, the legislature pays dozens of employees who do nothing but fill out PennDOT paperwork for constituents who don't want to wait in line at a PennDOT office or can't be bothered to do it themselves.

The House Republican Caucus employs about 20 people who deal exclusively with PennDOT questions; the House Democratic Caucus employs another 14 full-time staffers to do the same job. It's a duplication of services and a misuse of tax money to help incumbents ingratiate themselves with voters and local businesses who might just become campaign contributors, too.

Waste begets waste. PennDOT created a special unit with 35 employees just to handle the paperwork from the legislature. Gov. Rendell said he didn't know of this PennDOT division until the grand jury report came out, and he announced he would disband the unit.

The leaders in the House and Senate should eliminate these jobs, which contribute to one of the most overstaffed legislatures in the country.