SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are considering raising their annual pay by nearly $20,000 in an effort to attract more qualified candidates to the Legislature.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick is behind the measure to bump pay by 63 percent. The Democrat from Portland told Oregon Public Broadcasting that low pay screens out diverse candidates “who really should be represented here.”
She admitted that lawmakers have been hesitant to consider a pay increase because it might not play well politically.
Legislators currently make $31,200 – that’s after a recent pay raise that went into effect February 1st.
It’s unclear where they’ll get the funds for another salary bump. State budgeters are already asking for cuts across nearly all state agencies and are scrambling to come up with extra cash to fully fund K-12 education.