Not much new here, but these lists always generate conversation: The Yankee Institute says 1,223 state employees made more than the $150,000 paid to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2012.

“We aren’t saying the governor is overpaid or underpaid, nor do we begrudge a small number of uniquely skilled state employees who are highly paid, especially those with medical and science backgrounds,” said Fergus Cullen, the executive director of the conservative think tank.

Well, OK. Then just what are you saying?

Cullen also says that the number of folks who make more than the governor points “to the amount of bloat in state government.”

Maybe. Truly measuring bloat (sounds distasteful, no?) would require the complicated work of answering two simple questions: One, are these positions necessary? Two, are the salaries competitive?

But back to the gossip value: Four state employees made more than $1 million in 2012!

Readers of the sports pages probably can guess the names of three: Jim Calhoun made $2.8 million, followed by Geno Auriemma at $1.8 million and Paul Pasqualoni at $1.6 million.

The other isn’t even a household name. Without so much as a sneaker endorsement, Hilary Onyiuke managed to make $1 million as the chief of neurosurgery at UConn.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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