Sen. Larry Teague (D-Nashville) filed legislation yesterday that would allow Arkansas legislators to use legislative pay to qualify for Social Security.
As the concurrent resolution, he filed explains, when Arkansas joined the Social Security system for state employees in 1950, legislators were excluded from having to pay Social Security taxes on their pay as legislators.
Now, the resolution says, legislators, wish to be subject to the tax (which figures in benefits.) This will require the Social Security Administration to hold a referendum to determine that a majority of the legislature desires full Social Security coverage.
Arkansas legislators made a pittance in 1950. They were part-time legislators, meeting every two years unless called into special session. Many legislators today work full-time and with greatly increased pay, along with substantial per diem and expense payments for attending committee meetings year-round. Base pay was just raised to $43,604 for representatives and senators.