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Monday, December 07, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - Legislative pay: Indiana's "part-time citizen legislators" make over $60,000 a year

That was the report Sunday from Tony Cook on the front-page of the Indianapolis Star. The long story begins:

Ask Indiana lawmakers about possible conflicts between their private jobs and public work and you’ll hear a common refrain: Such dilemmas are inevitable in a part-time citizen legislature.

But an Indianapolis Star review of lawmaker compensation found that legislators receive an average of about $60,000 a year. Some receive more than $70,000.

That’s far more than the average Hoosier (Indiana’s median household income is $48,248). It's also similar to what lawmakers in some states receive for working full time.

In Indiana, lawmakers receive a relatively modest base salary of $24,140. Most of their compensation comes from a per diem, which is $159 a day during the legislative session. That money is intended to cover the costs of meals and hotels, but lawmakers receive it regardless of whether they actually incur those expenses. Lawmakers who live in or near Indianapolis can simply pocket it. There is also extra pay for leadership positions.

Still, most lawmakers have some source of outside income. The result can be an ethical minefield.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 7, 2015 08:49 AM
Posted to Indiana Government