(Watch News 8 Video) Sen. Kane Pans Pay Raises for Gov. Malloy, State Legislators

January 23, 2015

Article as it appeared on WTNH.com

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Should the Governor and state lawmakers get a pay raise? A special commission on compensation for state officials is recommending they all get a 10-percent pay hike.

While being governor or attorney general is a full-time job, being a state lawmaker is considered part-time in Connecticut, and the commission says their low pay doesn’t reflect the amount of time they spend doing the state’s business. The special commission making this recommendation is made up mostly of former state lawmakers and was appointed by state lawmakers and the Governor.

The Governor of the State of Connecticut is paid $150,000 a year in salary and is provided with a large home and several cars. The attorney general and other elected Constitutional officers like, treasurer and comptroller, are paid $110,000 in salary and are also provided a car. State lawmakers (state representatives and senators) average around $30,000 a year in salary and are provided another $4,500 for commuting and other expenses.

The special commission is recommending the pay raise go in effect after the next election.

“I’m not proposing any legislation, there is this commission that makes recommendations,” said Governor Malloy. “The legislature hasn’t acted on them for a long period of time, so really it’s up to the legislature.”

It’s always a political hot potato. No elected state official has had a pay raise since 2001.

“It’s past time,” said State Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, the longest serving state rep at 18 terms. “I don’t know what the right percentage should be, but most people don’t wait 14 years for a cost of living adjustment.”

Other lawmakers say the timing is all wrong.

“The last tax increase was the highest tax increase in Connecticut’s history,” said State Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton. “You don’t ask people, I didn’t vote for it, but you don’t ask people to do that and then raise your own salary.”

“It’s kind of silly for us to take raises as legislators, as administrators, as the Governor, Constitutional officers, whatever position, when people are still struggling in this economy,” added State Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown.

Mushinsky says most lawmakers have to juggle two jobs because no one can live on $30,000 a year in Connecticut