HARRISBURG PA – The state’s elected legislators will benefit Dec. 1 (2012; Saturday) from a 2.2-percent cost-of-living raise in their paychecks. For Pennsylvania state senators and House representatives, that means their base salaries will increase about $1,800, to more than $83,000 a year, The Pennsylvania Independent online news service reported Tuesday (Nov. 20, 2012).
The starting salary of lawmakers is about 40 percent higher than the median household income in Pennsylvania, which is about $50,000, The Independent said. Only California legislators, who during 2012 received a base salary of $95,000, made more than their Pennsylvania counterparts, according to National Conference on State Legislatures figures cited by The Independent.
Legislators’ pay is linked to the consumer price index for the Mid-Atlantic States and is adjusted each December. If all lawmakers accept the raise, the pay increase would cost taxpayers more than $450,000 next year, The Independent said.
But not all take the additional cash. The Independent noted that, in recent years, several lawmakers have returned the increase to the state treasury or have given the extra amount to charity.