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December 13, 2009 / jimnv

Legislator Pay

The Nevada Legislature meets every other year and the session usually runs 120 days or about 4 months. Their base pay is fairly low but their daily per diem is very nice. Here is what they get:

Each legislator is paid $8,777 per session or $2,194.25 per month for 4 months or annualized at $26,331.

Note: More than one fifth of all state employees make less than $25,000 annually and must work a  full year for it.

A legislator’s  daily per diem is $167 for a full 120 days.  This is $20,040 per session, $5,010 per month or annualized at $60,120.

Note: The average state employee pay is about $44,000 per year or $3,666 a month. Fifty nine percent make less than $50,000 a year.

In summary:

The maximum amount a legislator can receive in salary and per diem is $28,817 ($8,777 + $20,040) or $7,204 a month, annualized at $86,448.

However, it is the “expenses” category that significantly increases their overall remuneration. According to a Reno Gazette Journal article legislators were given an average of $45,307 in pay, per diem and expenses or $11,326.75 per month. When annualized the figure is $135,921 not quite as much as the governor though he works fewer hours in a year than they.

Note: Only about 2 percent of all state employees make $100,000 a year or more.

These figures show our legislators are collectively paid/given $2,854,341 each session (63 legislators). This might be included in the costs of the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) the support agency for the legislature which are about $15,000,000 per year.  Wow!

When you consider state employee furloughs, higher insurance premiums and deductibles, and pay frozen indefinitely, state employees are definitely paying their fair share in these difficult times. And yet, few complain and understand that they too must shoulder some of the burden.

What about our Legislature?  Nope. Fiscal reality does not apply to them.

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See my previous post: State Employee Pay for 2007 – less than you think!

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