BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Massachusetts legislators and top state officials sworn in on Wednesday are taking a pay cut. The legislators will see their base pay drop in 2013 and 2014 by $1,106 compared to those who served during the past two-year session.
According to the State House News Service, Gov. Deval Patrick's office announced Thursday that aside from the dozens of legislators that will receive extra pay tied to responsibilities assigned to them, the base pay for legislators has been reset to $60,334 a year to reflect a 1.8 percent decline in the median household income over the past two years.
Gov. Patrick based the calculation on the federal Census Bureau's American Community Survey and other reports of average weekly wages in Massachusetts.
Based on a constitutional amendment approved by Massachusetts voters in 1998 that tied the salaries of legislators to changes in house income, the governor must determine the rate of change at the start of each new two-year session.
The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor will also have their salaries reduced by 1.8 percent.
The decrease in pay for lawmakers comes after House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray recently doled out average 3 percent raises to all House aides and a smaller group of Senate staff, defending the expense as long overdue for staff that had gone as many as four years without a cost-of-living adjustment, reports the State House News Service.
The base pay also slipped by 0.5 percent in 2011 which marked the first time since the change that lawmakers saw their salaries decrease.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.