You Paid For It: Legislative Salaries

Saturday, February 4th 2012, 12:31 am
By: News 9

When you work hard, you feel like you deserve a raise. Who doesn't right? During these tough economic times, a pay increase isn't always a given. Many of us may years without a raise, still expected to perform your best at work. The same goes for our state lawmakers.

You may be surprised to know they have not received a raise in 14 years. In 1998, their yearly salary was increased to $38,400, a 20% percent increase from $32,000 in 1997.

Last year the legislative compensation board voted to keep lawmakers' salary at the 1998 level because of the current economic climate.

So how much are we paying for our 151 legislators to make our laws?

The salary rounds out to $5,798,400.

Now some legislators receive an additional salary.

For example, the pro tem of the Senate and House speaker get an extra $17,932.

The chairmen of the appropriations committees, the House speaker pro tempore, the assistant Senate majority leader and the floor leader in each chamber receive an extra $12,364 a year.

The grand total to pay all their salaries is $5,896,089.

The National Conference on State Legislatures lists Oklahoma legislators as the 16th highest paid in the country.

Then there's state like California - that pays lawmakers' almost triple... more than $95,000.

But in New Mexico, lawmakers must love to serve their state. They don't receive a dime in salary.

You can compare lawmakers salaries at this link.