It’s not a recession for everyone, apparently. More than 10,000 Maryland and Virginia state employees are making six figures a year, according to the Washington Examiner. But some question the accuracy of the Examiner's published numbers.
In Maryland, 5,217 employees, most working for the state’s public colleges and universities, make $100,000 a year or more, according to public records requested by The Examiner. Virginia has 5,368 employees in the $100,000 club, though that figure excludes employees from some state agencies, including the judiciary.
Those numbers roughly equal about 5 percent of both states’ employees, according to the paper.
And the same states that are handing out those great checks have also handed out pink slips.
“It’s a smack in the face to the citizens who are worried about their jobs and struggling.” Dee Hodges, chairman of the Maryland Taxpayers Association told the Examiner. “Government will relentlessly grow, no matter what, and they don’t care.”
The Examiner reported that Maryland’s high earners of $100,000-plus increased by more than 500 employees or 11 percent, from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2010. While Virginia was a bit more conservative, the state grew less than 1 percent from the previous year, according to the paper.
Topping the list of Maryland’s high-rollers is University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Dr. Albert Reece at $799,547, according to the Examiner. And for Virginia it is Arthur Garson Jr., University of Virginia’s provost, at $706,800, the Examiner reported.
However, the University of Maryland disputes the numbers published by the Examiner.
"Peter Franchot’s people apparently sent them a list of state salaries that is one year out of date," said Ed Fishel, News Bureau Director for the University of Maryland's Office of External Affairs, in a statement. "Moreover, because the data came from the Comptroller’s office instead of from the University System of Maryland, there were no differentiation between the money our medical school doctors make from their academic paychecks and their medical practice and research paychecks."
Maryland’s governor's office told the Examiner that the salary comparisons are frivolous, and that Gov. Martin O’Malley is aggressively trying to make the state government more efficient.
Both Maryland and Virginia will have to handle another round of slashing as they enter new legislative session on Wednesday. Maryland has a $2 billion budget deficit while Virginia is facing a $4 billion gap.