Arkansas Citizens Commission Adopts Report On Legislator, Judge Pay Raises
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM)- The Arkansas Independent Citizens Commission adopted a report with recommended pay raises for state legislator, judges and other constitutional officers on Monday (Feb. 2).
The commission is made up of seven members who were appointed by Governor Mike Beebe, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Jonathan Dismang, Speaker of the House of Representatives Davy Carter, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Jim Hannah. The citizens panel was created by a constitutional amendment voters approved in the November 2014 election.
The commission is recommending raising legislators’ salaries from $15,869 to $39,400. The salaries for the Senate president and the House speaker would both be raised from $17,771 to $45,000.
Pay raises proposed for other constitutional officers are:
- Governor: $87,759 to $141,000
- Lieutenant Governor: $42,315, there will be no change because the position is part-time
- Attorney General: $73,132 to $130,000
- Secretary of State: $54,848 to $90,000
- Treasurer of State: $54,848 to $85,000
- Auditor of State: $54,848 to $85,000
- Commissioner of State Lands: $54,848 to $85,000
Pay raises proposed for judges are:
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: $161,601 to $180,000
- Justice of the Supreme Court: $149,589 to $166,500
- Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals: $147,286 to $164,000
- Judge of the Court of Appeals: $144,982 to $161,500
- Circuit Court Judge: $140,372 to $160,000
- State District Court Judge: $125,495 to $140,000
The public has 30 days to comment on the proposed salaries. A public hearing is set for March 2 and a final vote is set for March 5. The salary changes will go into effect 10 days after the vote.
The commission’s report also recommends doing away with expense reimbursements, which are capped at $14,400 per year, for all members of the General Assembly. The commission recommends no change be made to additional expense allowances, which are capped at $3,600 per year, for being committee chairmen, subcommittee chairmen or vice chairman (a position only held in the House).
The panel recommends no changes be made to the per diem payments received by legislators. Currently, legislators who live within 50 miles of the Capitol receive $61 per day and those who live more than 50 miles away from the Capitol receive $150 per day. The committee made the same recommendation for mileage reimbursements, which are currently set at 57.5 cents a mile.
The commission’s report states the panel considered various factors in their salary recommendations and compared Arkansas salaries to the salaries given to legislators and judges in five other states.
To read the full report, click here.