lawmakers willing to push for pay raise
The Associated Press
Published Monday, August 20, 2007
Even though Kansas lawmakers are among the lowest paid in the country, there is no outcry at the Statehouse for a pay raise to remedy that.
When Rep. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, sponsored a bill last year to increase legislative pay, few of his colleagues climbed on board and the measure fell flat. Afterward, Masterson vowed to never again bring up what he said was the equivalent of political suicide.
Last week, a legislative committee took up the issue and concluded that it was probably time to increase pay for lawmakers. But nobody on the panel came forward to propose such a raise.
“Whatever we do needs to be a rational approach,” said Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie. “Whatever we do is going to be scrutinized by the public.
Kansas legislators make about $17,000 a year, about half of that in pay and half for expenses such as lodging and meals in Topeka. Legislative leaders and lawmakers who serve on certain special committees receive more.
The state ranks 43rd nationally in legislative pay, according to data from across the country.