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This week, our award is going to the city leadership of the nation’s capital, for continuing to lobby for a coronavirus bailout package that would exceed $3 billion, while spending more than $1 billion annually on some of the most exorbitant government salaries in the nation.

Like most other American cities, the District is required to balance its budget annually. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, city officials are claiming a $1.5 billion budget deficit and asking Congress for $3.15 billion over two years to alleviate the city’s financials woes.

The mayor of the capital, for instance, is paid $220,000 annually, which tops the salary of any state governor. Moreover, there are at least six other employees in Mayor Bowser’s office who earn more than any governor.

D.C. City Council members make roughly $141,282 per year, which is more than what’s paid to members of any state legislature in the country. And the chairman of the D.C. city council, Philip Mendelson, takes home $210,000 per year, which tops the pay for every member of the U.S. Congress, except House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $223,500.

The chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) makes $273,156 annually, a higher salary than any four-star general in the United States military makes. Open the Books identifies seven MPD officials making more, often much more, than the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security ($179,700).

D.C. public school students do not exceed a 35% proficiency rate in any standardized test subject, yet the system’s chancellor earned $280,000 last year. The U.S. Secretary of Education takes home a comparatively paltry $199,700.

The report identified 77 PR professionals across city government whose average salary landed in the six-figure range.

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