Arizona Voters to Decide on Giving Legislators a Pay Raise

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Arizona voters will decide in November on giving state lawmakers a raise.

Arizona's Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers voted to propose a legislative pay of $35,000, an $11,000 increase over the current pay of $24,000. Thanks to the Arizona Constitution, voters have the final say on this proposal.

See also:
-Arizona Legislature Adjourns, and Your Life Probably Isn't Changing

Sure, a $24,000-a-year salary seems pretty low. But that's not what the 90 legislators are paid.

On top of the annual pay, they get per diem money on working days: Lawmakers who live in Maricopa County get $35 per working day, while those who live outside of Maricopa County get $60 per working day of the legislative session.

This year, the Legislature was in regular session for 70 working days, plus another three days for a special session, meaning the total pay for some legislators this year is more than $28,000.

And that's just for 73 days of work. Sure, lawmakers could be working with constituents or going to job-related meetings while the Legislature's not in session, but such things aren't constitutionally required.

Considering there are 251 work days in a year, it's not exactly $24,000-plus for a year of work. If you got paid $28,380 for 73 days of work (as legislators outside of Maricopa County get this year), that's an equivalent of $97,580 for working 251 days a year, like most people do.

If you bump up the pay to $35,000, that'd be the equivalent of more than $130,000 for a full year's work. Plus, for most lawmakers, this isn't their only job. Plus, lobbyists probably never take you out for a free lunch or dinner. Just things to keep in mind when you're debating whether lawmakers need $11,000 more per year.

The $35,000 figure was calculated roughly as accounting for inflation since voters last approved a pay raise for lawmakers, going to $24,000 in 1998.

Several other proposed pay raises have been shot down by voters since then.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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191 comments
Adisa Gabriel Olugbemi
Adisa Gabriel Olugbemi

But they can cut fund for education. This is politics, it all about them not you the Arizonans.

Kenneth Molfetta
Kenneth Molfetta

Chuck you must know if it's a choice since you obviously can speak for millions of gay people across the world. It is NOT a choice and it's ignorant uneducated people like you that voted our joke of a state government into office.

John Wiseman
John Wiseman

I have asked asked multiple people I know on all sides of the political spectrum and cant find a single person who says they voted for this. Where are all these "Arizona voters" that allegedly voted this in? Are they hanging out with some unicorns and santa? Its sh*t like this that makes me believe the voting system is rigged.

John Wiseman
John Wiseman

Chuck Klee lol people with your level of ignorance are always amusing. You really think people can choose what they are sexually attracted to? How dumb are you? And if we really go by your mentality then every morning you wake up and have to actively choose to not be gay. Run along before you continue to embarrass yourself.

Nicholas John
Nicholas John

Hell no. They say don't have money for education, so we don't have money to give them raises. What a complete bunch of BS!

Jonathon Sherron
Jonathon Sherron

That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard. Give the money to these community's that need it.

Vanessa Ryan
Vanessa Ryan

If you want to see a waste of money look at the people running for governor that are taking public campaign financing. Each candidate can get $753,616. The money just 1 candidate gets could cover the raise in the AZ house. Second waste of money - many of the County employees. Here is a picture this week at one of the fine agencies in AZ:

Vince Vuong
Vince Vuong

AZ? Land of the white trash rednecks that think raping women is normal and a man's right, and beating the shit out of women when she deserves is normal? And that no one deserves human dignity unless they hold on to an archaic definition of what Christianity is? Land of the Nazi-loving, hate-mongering, botox loving, alligator bag known as Jan Brewer? HELL NO. Use your money to save your economy, not fund the houses of the idiots that run your hell-bound state. No offense, just what everyone else in the country is thinking and actually saying... Your state's reputation is shit and your politicians are a joke.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Raise ?...LOL..if this was a real job, with their performance, they would have been fired long ago.

Funny how there's no money or Police, Fire and Educators to get raises or in fact to hire more, but these lowlifes can find the money to give themselves a raise if the voters approved it.

Hell NO !


Eva Quomsieh Leih
Eva Quomsieh Leih

Some, not all. I know the ones that actually work hard and try to help and I know the ones that hinder and are in it for themselves.

Nicholas Lamer
Nicholas Lamer

I dont get paid more for doing a shity job. They aren't even doing a shity job, there just not doing anything.

Ruth Squire
Ruth Squire

no pay raise they have another job too.

Robert Allen Klinghagen
Robert Allen Klinghagen

If any Human being votes yes for this measure they have to be the Dumbest individual ever

Vyntz Herrera
Vyntz Herrera

It should be performance based and they should be evaluated under the same process as teachers. This way we can keep them accountable.

Daniel Gross
Daniel Gross

Absolutely not. They have done nothing of value to merit a raise. And they all need to submit a drug test to keep their position.

Charlie Erb
Charlie Erb

see if they could earn performance based raises.

John Die
John Die

We all do but nothing's going to happen until we bring the jobs back to the USA

Todd Seifert
Todd Seifert

sounds good to me as long as I can keep bitching about them

Todd Seifert
Todd Seifert

that would only work with term limits, but a good point

Carrie Davis
Carrie Davis

HELL TO THE NOOOOO XS 1000000000000 NOOOOOOOO!!!! Teachers Cops Servers Military But not politicians of any kind

Chris Wagner
Chris Wagner

Keep the salary so low that a normal person can't survive on it... Keeps the rich people in office who don't need the salary. Or the crooked folks who get paid off by their lobbyists. Right? Maybe the current legislators don't deserve this money but I would imagine if we want to attract middle class people into this position that a middle class salary should be paid. Tough one.

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