Full Time Legislator, Part Time County Councilman?!?

Capitolwire (subscription) is reporting that State Representative Mario Civera (R- Delaware), who was recently elected to the Delaware County Council, is now rethinking resigning, and planning both to stay in the State House (and serve as Appropriations Chair), and serve as a county official:

Three House Republicans have been seeking their caucus’ Appropriations Committee chairmanship for months, assuming that the incumbent chairman, Rep. Mario Civera, R-Delaware, would leave the House after winning a seat on Delaware County Council. That was Civera’s original intent, as he said when he announced his campaign for county council, and during that campaign, that he looked forward to staying closer to home. But now a combination of southeastern GOP leaders and House GOP colleagues are urging Civera to keep both jobs until the end of 2010. For a story on that, CLICK HERE.. The story also looks at the three men campaigning to replace Civera as minority appropriations chair if he resigns – Reps. Bill Adolph, R-Delaware, Stan Saylor, R-York and Doug Reichley, R-Lehigh.

I thought being a full-time legislator was such a enormous burden, that it justified the high pay, perks, and benefits for our lawmakers, and consumed 80 to 100 hours per week, and Pennsylvania could not possibly consider going back to a citizen-legislature. (Actually, I didn’t think any of those things, I was just repeating arguments made by lawmakers in the past).

For those who question whether this double dipping is legal, here is the relevant section of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Disqualification to Hold Other Office

Section 6.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under this Commonwealth to which a salary, fee of perquisite is attached. No member of Congress or other person holding any office (except of attorney-at law or in the national guard or in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States) under the United States of this Commonwealth to which a salary, fee or perquisite is attached shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.