The Independent Citizens Commission that sets pay for state officials, including the legislature, will meet Sept. 11. Will they give lawmakers more money?
In April, the commission gave the members of the legislature a nice 3 percent raise to $41,393 (and more for leaders of the chambers). So pay is set for the time being.
But the commission is required to make recommendations on per diem (an untaxed daily payment for attending meetings) and mileage and expense reimbursements. These tend to run in the $15,000 to $20,000 range for most members and amount to a salary supplement in many cases.
In 2016, the Commission made no change to the prevailing per diem and expense rate, which was pegged to the amount allowed without taxes by the federal government and tracking the federal government reimbursement rate. Then, the GSA per diem rate was $150 per day for those living outside a 50-mile radius (a distance some legislators over the years have finagled to draw the maximum) and $61 per day for those living closer. Mileage reimbursements are allowed only for those living more than 50 miles away at
57.5 54.5 cents a mile.
A flat expense reimbursement was eliminated with 150 percent pay raises granted legislators in the first round of deliberations after
The Commission has asked House and Senate leaders for recommendations for the September meeting. None is on file yet.