Senate lawmakers want to give statewide officeholders, including the governor, a pay raise.
The salaries for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney general and state superintendent are set by the General Assembly. Those positions have received small increases in the last few years as state employee pay rose.
Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) wants to give them a significant boost.
“I think the salaries are so low at this point that we drive away talent, from both parties,” Head says.
New Attorney General Curtis Hill, who previously served as Elkhart County prosecutor, is taking a pay cut in his new role, as is state Auditor Tera Klutz, who was the Allen County auditor.
Head’s bill would make the governor’s salary about $141,000 a year, a 16 percent increase, which would take effect in 2021. The other officeholders would each make about $120,000 a year, beginning next year. For some of those positions, that’s a more than 50 percent pay raise.
Head says road funding legislation, which could include tax increases, complicates his bill’s chances.
“There will be constituents throughout the state who say, ‘Well, wait a minute, why is that guy getting a raise if you’re taking more money out of my pocket?’ And that makes the bill harder to pass this session, definitely,” Head says.
Head did not take a vote on his bill in committee, where lawmakers debated whether to make those salary increases even higher.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said that Head’s bill would increase the governor’s salary 27 percent instead of 16 percent.