The pay raise package that the legislature is actually voting on. (26 Responses)

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

PositionCurrent Salary*Last ChangedLegal basisCommission RecommendationsLegislative ProposalInflation at same rate as Consumer Prices
Governor151,800*1/1/2017G.L. c. 6, s.1250,000 including housing allowance250,000 including housing allowanceN/A
Attorney General130,582*1/1/2017G.L. c. 12, s.1175,000175,000N/A
Treasurer127,917*1/1/2017G.L., c.10, s.1175,000175,000N/A
Lieutenant Governor127,327*1/1/2017G.L. c. 6, s.2165,000165,000N/A
Secretary of State130,262*1/1/2017G.L. c. 9, s.1165,000165,000N/A
Auditor134,952*1/1/2017G.L. s. 11, s.1165,000165,000N/A
Legislator Base62,5471/1/2017Constitution, Article CXVIIINo changeNo changeN/A
Legislator Per Diem10 - 100 / travel day2000G.L. c. 3, s. 9BAbolishAbolish14 - 140 / travel day
Legislator Expense Allowance7,2002000G.L. c. 3, s. 9B10,000 -- 15,000 if over 50 miles from Boston15,000 -- 20,000 if over 50 miles from Boston10,035
Committee Vice Chairs0 or 7,500 depending on committee1982Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.Not specified, need for adjustment acknowledged5,200 or 15,000 depending on committee0 or 18,653 depending on committee
Committee Chairs7,500 or 15,000 depending on committee1982Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.Not specified, need for adjustment acknowledged15,000 or 30,000 depending on committee18,653 or 37,307 depending on committee
Ways and Means Chair Stipend25,0001982Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.Not specified, need for adjustment acknowledged65,00062,177
Speaker/Senate President Stipend35,0001982Differential originally enacted as Chapter 455 of Acts of 1982.102,453 (recommendation is for total of $175,000 with all components)80,00087,049

*Table does not reflect salary adjustments as of 1/1/2017 for constitutional officers.

For much more background on this issue, please go to this link.

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    Will Brownsberger
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    2d Suffolk and Middlesex District