Affluence, Courtesy of the State of Connecticut

I will not go so far as to say that I wish I were a state employee. That would be going too far. I've been self-employed far too long to want to work for any else, much less the state. But check out the list of the state's top wage earners. There's good money to be made in public service.

The top dogs are sports coaches. Jim Calhoun, coach of the men's basketball team, socking away $1.6 million per year. The head of the football team, Randy Edsall is a close second at $1.38 million; followed by the head of the women's basketball team, Geno Auriemma, who is paid $1.3 million. This rounds out the millionaire's club.

There are 250 names on the list of the state's top wage earners. The lowest salary on the list if $216,885.76. It is apparently that of an emergency room physician at the University of Connecticut Medical Center in Farmington.

The going rate for a tenured law professor at the University of Connecticut is about $220,000, plus or minus a few thousand dollars. The law school's dean earns $235,289.82.

I confess surprise to see that the chief prison doctor, Edward Blanchette, earns nearly $400,000 per year. I've cross-examined him a number of times and am less than impressed. So seem to be many of the prisoners who write me each month complaining about medical care.

These salaries aren't all the employees receive. The state offers generous benefits and pensions. Judges, for example, start at about $143,000 plus benefits worth another $80,000 or so per year. I did not see any judges, prosecutors or public defenders on the list of the state's top earners.

Will the governor seek wage concessions from the state's top dogs? Times are tough, we keep hearing.


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