According to the Philadelphia Inquirer
, Pennsylvania state legislators made broad cuts in spending to help balance the budget, but kept in the $850,000 item for state-funded vehicles for themselves.Of the 253 state legislators, 108 drive cars from the state fleet, while 53 others lease cars privately at a cost to taxpayers, the report said. For example, the report continued, the state pays $600 per month for a 2001-model Mercedes-Benz for Senator Ed Helfrick (R). Helfrick says his constituents know what cars he drives.The Inquirer
noted that the state would save $190,000 if it required lawmakers to give up their private leases and drive cars from the state fleet. Fleet vehicles generally cost about half as much as a private lease for the same car.