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Where Missouri falls in government size, legislator salaries

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The state of Missouri has the seventh largest state government in the country in terms of elected legislators, but our annual salary falls squarely in the middle of the pack.

Since 1992, salaries have been relatively flat, with legislators often shying away from pay raises because of the public scrutiny attached to them.

That same year, Missouri passed a resolution and the citizens voted on and approved a measure to create the Missouri Citizens Commission on Compensation. This commission was given the authority to determine pay increases, decreases and scales for Missouri lawmakers. Previously, their pay and any subsequent pay increases or freezes moved through the budget process like any other state employee.

The Commission has specific membership requirements. Small businesses, businesses with gross annual profits in excess of $1 million and the healthcare industry are all required to be represented. A retired judge is also required to sit on the commission.

Salary is calculated every two years and a scheduled change in compensation can only be defeated by a concurrent resolution adopted by two-thirds of the legislature. In the past, scheduled increases have been stopped from going into effect, when lawmakers felt the raises would not play well publically.

The most recent commission completed its work during 2012 and will be called again during 2014 — with mostly new membership — as per the statute.

To see a larger version of the graphic at the top, click here.