OKLAHOMA CITY — The Latest on a state board’s decision to reduce the salaries of all 149 state senators and representatives (all times local):
All of Oklahoma’s 149 state senators and representatives will get a pay cut of 8.8 percent in November 2018 after an independent nine-member panel narrowly voted to approve the reduction.
The Legislative Compensation Board voted 4-3 on Thursday to impose the pay cut effective on the next group of legislators elected next year.
Members of the panel are appointees of the governor, speaker of the House and pro tem of the Senate. Several said the decision was a difficult one, but that the total annual compensation for legislators of $62,000 was too generous given the salary of the average Oklahoman or state worker.
The 8.8 percent reduction would shift a legislator’s base salary from $38,400 to $35,021. The additional pay for House and Senate leaders also will be reduced
Oklahoma’s 149 state senators and representatives will learn if they get their pay cut after a state committee meets to review the lawmakers’ salary and benefits package.
The Legislative Compensation Board will meet Thursday afternoon to consider whether to raise, lower or keep the salaries the same. The panel met last month, and some of its nine members said they should consider reducing the $38,400 annual base salary for Oklahoma’s part-time legislators. State officials say that when benefits are included, the total average total annual compensation for legislators is $62,000.
Chairman Wes Milbourn, the general manager of two Oklahoma City television stations, suggested during a meeting last month that the public is frustrated the Legislature after years of budget problems. Milbourn was appointed to the panel by Gov. Mary Fallin.