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Missouri officials could see first pay raise in 14 years

  

Missouri’s elected officials may be seeing an increase in pay over the next two years after a state commission suggested the raises. 

The Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials outlined its recommendations for the next two fiscal years in a new report this week, proposing pay bumps for the General Assembly and statewide officials.

The report recommended a yearly increase of 2.5 percent over the next two fiscal years. If the commission’s report is accepted, most members of the state Senate and House would receive $37,711 a year by 2023, while the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate would receive $40,336. 

Commissioners suggested the change to account for the legislature’s full range of responsibility.

“The Commission determined that although the legislator position may appear to be a part-time role in a citizens’ legislature, the time required for the person elected to one of these positions is most often a full-time responsibility,” the report said. “The position entails more than just a January to mid-May, Monday through Thursday schedule. Constituents expect and need their legislators available for comments, concerns, and assistance year-round.”

Statewide officials would see the same rate of increase over the next two years. The governor would receive $140,596 in the 2023 fiscal year, an increase of nearly $7,000 compared to the current pay scale. The boost would put Missouri more in line with other states, including Kentucky and Arkansas. California currently pays its governor the highest salary at $201,680 a year, according to the report. 

In all, the recommended raises would cost around $200,000 over both years. 

“We noted that the statewide elected officials and legislators have foregone raises for the past 13 years,” the report said. “The Commission believes compensation provides opportunities for a broad demographic of individuals in early, mid, senior, or retired career situations to service in these elected positions. Therefore, we feel it is important to begin a process of compensating these individuals as appropriate for their services. This is the first step toward resolving such inequities.” 

The commission is set to meet Thursday for a final vote on its recommendations. If approved, the plan would go to the legislature, which has the power to reject the changes. The General Assembly has until Feb. 1 to block the suggestions. 

The commission is composed of 21 Missouri citizens selected by the governor and secretary of state and meets biannually to consider pay rates for officials and analyze current financial data. The legislature approved the most recent pay increase in 2004.