Baker Awards Lawmakers Nearly Six Percent Raise
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON — Two years after legislators ignited an uproar by voting through a generous package of pay raises for themselves and other public officials, the salaries for incoming lawmakers on Beacon Hill are going up again by almost six percent.
Gov. Charlie Baker certified a raise of 5.93 percent for the 200 members of the House and Senate beginning for the 2019 and 2020 session, raising the base pay for legislators by $3,709 to $66,256.
Baker is also in line for a hefty pay increase, with the governor's salary set to grow from $151,800 to $195,970. He will also receive a housing allowance of $68,854.
The size of the pay increase for Baker is as large as it is in part because the Republican turned down a pay raise in 2017 that would have increased his salary from $151,800 to $185,000 after the Democrat-controlled Legislature overrode his veto of the pay raise package.
The raises are based on changes in median household income in Massachusetts for the prior two years, as calculated by the United States Census Bureau. Baker said he used the American Community Survey to determine that median household income in Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017 had grown from $73,052 to $77,385, or 5.93 percent.
Because the base salaries for lawmakers are set by the state Constitution, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and then-Senate President Stanley Rosenberg in 2017 pushed through a package of pay raises for lawmakers that adjusted the stipends they receive for office expenses and leadership and committee postings.
Statewide elected officials, such as the governor and lieutenant governor, and judges also got pay raises through the legislation that passed as the first act of the two-year legislative session that will end on Jan. 2.
--Matt Murphy, State House News Service