Massachusetts Lawmakers Will Receive 4.4 Percent Pay Increase in 2023

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By Colin Young
State House News Service

Massachusetts lawmakers are in line for another pay raise in the new year, this one worth more than 4 percent.

In a letter sent Thursday, December 30 to the state treasurer, Deborah Goldberg, Governor Charlie Baker said that median household income in Massachusetts has risen by 4.42 percent over the two years since the last adjustment to lawmaker pay. Adjustments to legislative base pay are required biennially under the Massachusetts Constitution, based on changes in the median household income statewide.

A 4.42 percent increase for the 2023-2024 legislative session would bump the base pay for elected lawmakers from $70,536 to about $73,654, a raise of $3,118 a year. Any lawmaker can choose to turn down the increase in base pay if they so choose. For many lawmakers, the base pay is supplemented by stipends for being in leadership or being chosen to chair a committee.

In past years, especially during recent recessions, some legislators have rejected the pay increases and others have accepted the money, but pledged to donate it to charity. Most have accepted the raises.

Lawmakers got a 4.2 percent raise at the start of the 2017-2018 session, a raise of 5.93 percent at the start of the 2019-2020 session, and a 6.46 percent increase when the 2021-2022 session began. If median household income were to go down, legislative pay would also be slated to be cut.

In early 2017, legislators caused an uproar by voting for a generous package of pay raises for themselves and other public officials, aside from the changes in compensation that the governor is required to make every two years. That law also awarded office and travel expense budgets for each lawmaker, based on how far they live from the State House, and raised the pay for constitutional officers.


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