Maryland Chambers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The following press release was sent in by Republican members of the General Assembly:

“Maryland State Legislators will automatically receive a 12% pay increase over the next four years, unless they act to stop their raises. 

Senate Republicans are taking that action, and in the spirit of transparency and good government, Senate Minority Leader Bryan Simonaire has introduced SJ9 to allow a public vote on the proposed legislative pay raises on behalf of the Caucus. 

“Approval of legislative pay raises should not be draped in the cloak of secrecy,” said Senate Minority Leader, Bryan Simonaire. “We are calling for a public and transparent vote.”

The General Assembly Compensation Commission is appointed by the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House. They are charged with reviewing the salaries for members of the General Assembly and making recommendations for salary adjustments every four years for the upcoming term of office. In 2022, the Commission made recommendations for the salaries of office holders for the 2023-2026 term of office and presented their report to the General Assembly in January.

The 2022 Report recommends a 12% pay raise for Delegates and Senators over the next four years.

Interestingly, the salaries for Governor, Lt. Governor and other Constitutional Officers require a Joint Resolution with an affirmative vote to increase their salaries, but increases for the General Assembly are automatically approved without a Joint Resolution and vote.  A vote is only taken if the General Assembly wants to reject or revise the recommendation. Therefore, the only way to get a vote on pay raises is to submit a Joint Resolution to that end. 

SJ9 has been introduced to require a public up or down vote on if these pay raises should be accepted or rejected.

“Legislator pay increases in Maryland are decided in the ultimate game of inside baseball,” said Senate Minority Whip Justin Ready. “We want to bring transparency to the process. Legislators should not receive special treatment when it comes to a pay raise. The public should be able to comment as they do on other legislative and budget matters, and a public vote should be required.”

A similar House Joint Resolution has been cross-filed in the House by Delegate Reid Novotny (Carroll & Howard) and will be dropped today.

 “Every topic deserves a vote in Annapolis, especially automatic pay increase for politicians,” said Novotny.” 

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  1. The proposed increases would be 4% in 2023 and 2024 and 2% in 2025 and 2026 and would bring lawmakers’ salaries up to $56,636 in the fourth year from the current $50,330, Simon Powell of the Department of Legislative Services said.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with pay increases for legislators as long as every raise is commensurate with the increase in cost of living. The problem is that their salaries are too high to begin with. Even with the devaluation of money and cost of living increase taken into consideration, I’m sure legislators are paid much better now than thirty years ago. The best example is the big guy himself who as a US Congressman in 1973 made $42,000 ($250,000 adjusted for inflation) and said he could not afford child care on his salary. I paid for day care from 2001 to 2005 when my wife and I made $125,000 combined.

  3. I agree with Mr.Novotny. The public should vote on this. It’s not fair that legislators can get such a pay raise yet the public is struggling to get the minimum wage increased to a reasonable amount to live.

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