For much more background on this issue, please go to this link.
The actual legislation that the House and Senate will consider has now been released.
A few observations:
- The legislation does adopt a rule against active outside income for the constitutional officers and top legislative leaders.
- As to the constitutional officers, the legislation tracks the recommendations of the commission.
- As to members of the legislature, the legislation does less for the top leaders than the commission recommended and more for other members.
- Mid-level legislative leaders — committee chairs, etc. — do get increases. The commission recognized the need for adjustments, but did not detail them.
- Most of the increases in leadership stipends are below the inflation since 1982 when they were last changed.
- As the commission recommended, the package drops per diems and increases the expense allowance for all members. However, the new total compensation for most members will remain a little below historical levels. The increase in the expense allowance is greater than what the commission proposed. So, even with the loss of per diems, most members will see a total compensation increase of a few percentage points (the exact number depends on their previous use of per diems). From an historical perspective, however, it is worth noting that base compensation of legislators was $30,000 in 1982 when the expense allowance was $2,400 — in today’s dollars, that works out to a total of $80,583 and in 1982, legislators were also collecting per diems.
- The package does include compensation for some vice-chairmanships who have previously been uncompensated.
- In addition to the commission’s recommendations, the legislation also addresses compensation of a number of judicial roles that have management responsibilities.
Comparison of Legislative Proposals and Historical Compensation Levels
|Position||Current Salary*||Last Changed||Legal basis||Commission Recommendations||Legislative Proposal||Inflation at same rate as Consumer Prices|
|Governor||151,800*||1/1/2017||G.L. c. 6, s.1||250,000 including housing allowance||250,000 including housing allowance||N/A|
|Attorney General||130,582*||1/1/2017||G.L. c. 12, s.1||175,000||175,000||N/A|
|Treasurer||127,917*||1/1/2017||G.L., c.10, s.1||175,000||175,000||N/A|
|Lieutenant Governor||127,327*||1/1/2017||G.L. c. 6, s.2||165,000||165,000||N/A|
|Secretary of State||130,262*||1/1/2017||G.L. c. 9, s.1||165,000||165,000||N/A|
|Auditor||134,952*||1/1/2017||G.L. s. 11, s.1||165,000||165,000||N/A|
|Legislator Base||62,547||1/1/2017||Constitution, Article CXVIII||No change||No change||N/A|
|Legislator Per Diem||10 - 100 / travel day||2000||G.L. c. 3, s. 9B||Abolish||Abolish||14 - 140 / travel day|
|Legislator Expense Allowance||7,200||2000||G.L. c. 3, s. 9B||10,000 -- 15,000 if over 50 miles from Boston||15,000 -- 20,000 if over 50 miles from Boston||10,035|
|Committee Vice Chairs||0 or 7,500 depending on committee||1982||Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.||Not specified, need for adjustment acknowledged||5,200 or 15,000 depending on committee||0 or 18,653 depending on committee|
|Committee Chairs||7,500 or 15,000 depending on committee||1982||Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.||Not specified, need for adjustment acknowledged||15,000 or 30,000 depending on committee||18,653 or 37,307 depending on committee|
|Ways and Means Chair Stipend||25,000||1982||Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.||Not specified, need for adjustment acknowledged||65,000||62,177|
|Speaker/Senate President Stipend||35,000||1982||Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.||102,453 (recommendation is for total of $175,000 with all components)||80,000||87,049|
*Table does not reflect salary adjustments as of 1/1/2017 for constitutional officers.