State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) voted to deny state lawmaker pay increases during a meeting of the House Executive Committee on Thursday morning. The Benton Republican and first-term lawmaker had filed an identical piece of legislation, HB 3790.
“House Bill 643 will deny lawmakers an increase in pay, based on a cost-of-living adjustment allowed by the Compensation Review Act,” Severin said. “Lawmaker pay is currently treated as a continuing appropriation and cost of living adjustments, or raises, are built in to that law. It’s completely ludicrous, but, each year the General Assembly has to actually take a vote to stop its own automatic pay raise. If you consider the utter failure of the legislature to produce balanced budgets for the last several years, the notion that automatic pay raises for politicians would be possible is just insane to me. That’s why today’s vote was so important.”
The bill applies only to the fiscal year 2018, beginning July 1, 2017. The bill passed Committee unanimously and now heads to the full House for a vote.