State politicians to get raises

first_imgOLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A citizen commission that sets elected officials’ salaries has voted to increase pay for Washington lawmakers by 2 percent annually for the next two years.The salary commission voted to approve the raises Wednesday, The News Tribune reported.A rank-and-file member of the state Legislature makes $46,839 per year. Those legislators’ salaries will increase to $47,776 in September, and to $48,731 in September 2018.Lawmakers are in the midst of a 30-day special session after they were unable to approve a two-year budget during the regular 105-day session.They haven’t been able to agree on a new two-year operating budget without going into overtime since 2009.Several members of the salary commission said their role isn’t to consider performance or the decision-making of individual politicians when setting salaries. Instead, they said the independent commission considers factors including job responsibilities and the rising costs of inflation.“We’re not a political body. It’s very hard to keep separate our duties because we’re charged with setting salaries for elected officials, but we are not political,” said commission member Melissa O’Neill Albert. The salary commission also decided to award raises of 1 percent per year to statewide elected officials, including the governor and attorney general.Gov. Jay Inslee’s annual salary will rise from $173,617 to $177,107 between now and September 2018, while Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib’s annual salary will increase from $101,889 to $103,937 during the same period.last_img read more