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Panel suggests raising pay of state elected officials - but not lawmakers

$100 bill
Vladimir Solomyani

Some state officials might be getting a raise for the first time in years. That’s if the legislature adopts recommendations made by the State Officers Compensation Commission Friday.

The commission recommends a ten percent pay increase for state Supreme Court Justices. Their salaries have been frozen for over a decade. It also recommends the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state go back to their salaries from before 2010, when they got a pay cut.

James Hallan is on the committee. He said Michigan needs to keep the salaries for elected officials competitive, otherwise you risk only getting candidates that are very wealthy or very young and trying to make a name for themselves.

“So you miss a sweet spot of people that have some experience in the business or community. And so we’re trying to recognize that,” he said.

“Clearly they’re public servants, they recognize that they’re not going to be paid the same as the private sector,” Hallan continued. “But they’ve got families, they have a duty to be fairly compensated. They do good work for the state and it’s our obligation to recognize that and as fiduciaries make a recommendation.”

The proposed salary increases would not take effect until after Governor Rick Snyder leaves office. But he said the recommendations are reasonable.


“With respect to the justices, we want to have the best courts possible so I think it’s important that we compensate people accordingly,” he said.

The commission did not recommend pay increases for lawmakers.


Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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