Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Legislative pay hike endorsed

Commission votes for $16,200 jump

October 18, 2000

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— Legislators would give themselves a pay increase of roughly $16,200 a year if they approve a plan endorsed Tuesday by the Legislative Compensation Commission.

Under the plan, which the commission approved on a 4-2 vote, rank-and-file legislators would receive $38,070 a year on average. It would include money to cover expenses.

Under the proposal, rank-and-file legislators would receive $38,070 a year on average.

Rank-and-file legislators now receive an average $21,867 a year for salary and expenses. The actual amount varies, based on how many committee meetings they attend when the Legislature is out of session.

The additional money, which amounts to a 74 percent pay increase, would cost the state about $2.7 million a year.

The proposal will be included in legislation for lawmakers to consider next year. Legislators frequently are leery of supporting a pay increase for fear of political fallout from voters.

The plan, which would take effect in January 2003, would change legislators' pension eligibility. Currently, retirement benefits are calculated using an average of each legislator's three highest annual salaries.

Lawmakers are allowed to annualize their salaries and expenses up to $65,456 for purposes of calculating their retirement benefits.

Under the plan, legislators only could count an annual base salary of $24,000 in calculating pensions.

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