NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Pay Raises In Store For Legislators

December 28, 1998

Lawmakers in a number of states will get pay raises in 1999. Most sitting legislatures do not raise their own pay, but they do vote increases for the next cadre of elected representatives. In some states, commissions set salary levels and others require voter approval.

Salaries are increasing in at least 10 states, with at least another four studying them.

  • California lawmakers will earn $99,000 -- the highest in the nation -- due to the action of a citizens' panel which raised pay from $78,624.
  • Not having had a salary increase since 1989, New York's legislature voted a 38 percent pay raise last year, which takes it to $79,500.
  • Colorado lawmakers in 1997 approved a 71 percent pay raise, from $17,500 to $30,000.
  • Arizona voters approved a 60 percent increase last month after 18 years of turning raises down -- bringing salaries from $15,000 to $24,000.

State legislators earn widely varying salaries, with those in New Hampshire earning the least -- $100. By contrast, a member of Congress earns $136,700.

Source: Richard Wolf, "Salary Hikes for Lawmakers a Trend in '99," USA Today, December 28, 1998.


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