Senate OKs raises for constitutional officers, future legislators
June 5, 2005
The Senate Sunday gave final approval to legislation raising the salaries of constitutional officers and future members of the Legislature.
AB462 will grant constitutional officers their first pay increases since 1997. Senators and Assembly members haven’t had a pay raise for some 20 years.
No current elected official would get the pay hikes. The increases don’t take effect until after the next election for each office.
The governor’s pay will rise from $117,000 to $141,000, and the attorney general’s pay from $110,000 to $133,000.
Salaries of the secretary of state, treasurer and controller would all rise from $80,000 to $97,000, and the pay for the lieutenant governor from $50,000 to $60,000.
The big change, however, is to tie future increases for both constitutional officers and legislators to the percentage pay increases granted state workers.
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Salaries of elected officials cannot be increased during their term of office so those pay increases would all be effective only at the start of a new term for any elected state office. Each salary would increase by the same percentage state workers had received over the past two or four years, depending on the term for a specific office.
Lawmakers have never had a mechanism in place to raise their own pay, and concern about public reaction has prevented them from doing so since the 1980s.
Senators and Assembly members currently receive $3,900 per year in salary, which advocates argue is preventing many middle-class citizens from running for office.
They say unless some reasonable level of pay is provided, eventually only the rich will be able to run and serve.
The vote was 16-5 with Republicans Bob Beers and Joe Heck of Las Vegas and Democrats Valerie Wiener, Terry Care and Dina Titus, all Las Vegas, opposed.
AB462 goes to the governor for his signature.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.