By Bob Katzen

All 40 senators receive an additional stipend, above the $73,655 base salary, for their positions in the Democratic and Republican leadership, as committee chairs, vice chairs and the ranking Republican on some committees. The stipend is increased or decreased every two years based on data from the BEA that measures the quarterly change in salaries and wages.

Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), the top Democrat, earns the highest stipend of any senator: $109,163. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), the top Republican, earns an $81,872 stipend. The other 38 senators’ stipends range from $27,564 to $102,430.

Supporters say legislators in these important positions should be appropriately compensated for their many added responsibilities and hard work.

Critics say the base salary is sufficient and is eligible to be increased every two years.

$20,468 OR $27,291 FOR GENERAL EXPENSES – Each senator also receives an annual general expense pay allowance of $20,468 for members who live within a 50-mile radius of the Statehouse and $27,291 for those who are located outside of that radius.

This separate, flat rate expense allowance is taxable as income. It is designed to pay for some of the costs of senators’ district offices and other expenses including contributions to local civic groups and the printing and mailing of newsletters. Senators are not required to submit an accounting of how they spend the money. But they are allowed to deduct any expenses, permitted under federal law, from their gross income on their federal and state tax return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.