Archive for Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kansas legislator proposes salary increase; ‘we should be paid significantly better’

March 20, 2014


— A state legislator Thursday pushed forward a bill to more than double legislative pay during the session, but reduce the retirement package that legislators get.

"While we are here serving the citizens of Kansas, we should be paid significantly better," said state Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro.

But, he said, once legislators have left the Legislature, they shouldn't get "the sweet deal" they receive under the state retirement system.

Although serving part-time, legislators are able to annualize their salary for pension calculations. Peck said his bill would disallow that.

Currently, legislators receive $88.66 per calendar day for service during a legislative session.

Peck's bill would tie legislative pay to 80 percent of the average daily salary of Kansas teachers. Based on that, the legislative pay would be $204 per day.

Off-session, legislators receive $354.15 bi-weekly. Peck's bill would not change that.

Currently, a legislator who is not in a leadership position is paid about $14,708 per year. Under Peck's bill that would increase to approximately $25,000 per year.

In addition to their daily pay during the session, legislators also receive $129 per calendar day during the session for subsistence.

Over the years, numerous proposals have been floated to raise legislative pay, but fear of political retribution at the polls have snuffed them out.

Peck's proposal, House Bill 2740, wouldn't take effect until Jan. 1, 2017, which he said meant the pay raise was for future legislators.

Concerning the bill, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said: "Intriguing concept."

Peck responded, saying, "I look forward to passing this out of committee." Most of the committee members laughed.


Brion Eduardo 4 years, 2 months ago

This legislature is the worst in my 41 year old memory. Not only do they not deserve a raise, but any House members who want to return for the 2015 session really need to agree to cut legislative pay by at least 90%. That's probably not a big enough cut, though, as they're worthless as lawmakers and are, in fact, a blight on the State of Kansas!

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 2 months ago

The legislature is in session from January though early May which to me does not seem very long to conduct all the business they need to. That leaves eight month when they are on vacation. I think that something this important should be a year round job.

James Howlette 4 years, 2 months ago

Lord, no. Not with this crowd. They damage the state enough in the few months that they're here.

James Howlette 4 years, 2 months ago

Don't kick them off KPERS. It's the only reason they haven't killed it.

Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years, 2 months ago

In spite of what Virgil Peck says, they are serving the Koch brothers, not the citizens of Kansas.

Brion Eduardo 4 years, 2 months ago

No, Peck is a Kansas Values prohibitionist. Perhaps he would be more sensible if he would expand his mind a bit in CO.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 2 months ago

Peck now thinks they need a pay raise. This is the same idiot that suggested shooting the undocumented from helicopters. Sounds like more of his ignorance is showing every time he opens his mouth.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 2 months ago

Maybe the price of ammo has gone up! I can't believe he was serious when he said that.

William Ballard 4 years, 2 months ago

Is he kidding? Since Peck and his Tea-Party cronies serve only ALEC and the Koch Brothers, Kansas Taxpayers should get a refund!

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 2 months ago

They should work for free until the Several Hundred Thousand Dollars in Legal expenses for Defending all of their so called "Work" is paid back to the State of Kansas and its citizens. If they were paid based on their accomplishments, they would get Zero. So, No! Not a Penny More!

Amy Varoli Elliott 4 years, 2 months ago

Give them a raise that's fine, but all state employees should get a raise of the same %.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm willing to pay them twice as much to go home.

Brock Masters 4 years, 2 months ago

Remember the old adage, you get what you pay for.

Generally speaking the pay is so low only retired people and the bottom of the barrel can afford to be legislators.

Pamela Vandervoort 4 years, 2 months ago

Where did he come up with the average teacher's daily rate? I am a teacher with 19 yrs experience, a masters degree plus 39 graduate hours working on my ELL certification which requires 9 more graduate hours. I make $50,400/yr for 190 days on duty days. What is the education level & years experience of the average legislator? How much time do they spend doing their job?

I like most teachers work all year round taking professional development, college classes, learning new technology, creating projects, & preparing lessons for the coming year. Educators are constantly learning. During the school yr, teachers always take home work to grade & lessons to prepare. It is not a 9-5 job. 9 months a year like many people believe.

Mary Winter 4 years, 2 months ago

What if the Koch brothers sponsored the legislature? It would be more honest, and the Kochs could have jerseys made up.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 years, 2 months ago

The Koch boys are too busy creating all the rest of our laws in ALEC to worry about legislator pay. After all, if we pay legislators more we might have to go up on the Koch boys' taxes.

Oh.. wait... no, we can still cancel more services to the taxpayers first.

Arveca R Haberlein 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh wah you guys get paid almost 700 a month while at your other job, plus get a retirement plan paid travel and an outrageous amount for subsistence. Most Americans live on less than 15000 a year without all those other benefits. Raises should be earned not just given freely.

Phillip Chappuie 4 years, 2 months ago

If Virgil Peck wants to earn more money he should leave Topeka and go back to his insurance Oklahoma. That's right folks, ole Virgil is not even a real Kansan. Oh, he lives in Kansas but he earns a lot of his living in the Red Dirt.

Shane Garrett 4 years, 2 months ago

Peck's website lists him as, "Pro-Low Taxes, Pro-Life, Pro-Education, Pro-Business, Pro-Agriculture," and "Pro-2nd Amendment." He believes .in less government and lower taxes for all Kansans So instead of a Peck he wants a bushel?

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