Ohio lawmaker pay sixth highest in U.S.: See how they compare


Editor’s note: Our I-Team is gathering payroll data for local governments across our region, as well as state government and higher education, as part of our Payroll Project. You can search Payroll Project data here. We are gathering payroll data for 2016 and will add it to the database as it is collected. If you have a suggestion for our Payroll Project, email I-Team reporter Josh Sweigart at Josh.Sweigart@coxinc.com.

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Ohio lawmakers are the sixth-highest paid state legislators in the nation, according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Members of Ohio’s General Assembly get a base salary of $60,584 per year, though most make more with additional stipends for committee assignments and leadership posts. They also get a mileage reimbursement for driving to and from the statehouse.

The nation’s highest-paid politicians live in the Golden State. California lawmakers get $100,113 per year plus $176 a day for each day in session.

On the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico lawmakers receive no salary, only $163 a day for each day in session. New Hampshire lawmakers get $200 per two-year term.

The NCSL considers Ohio’s General Assembly to be a full-time job. But last year they met in voting sessions less than 20 times between January and May, we previously reported, then met in December and passed more than 50 bills in a six-day “lame duck” session.

None of those bills raised lawmaker pay. A previous proposal for a ballot initiative on creating an independent commission to regulate lawmaker pay – taking it out of their own hands – never gained traction. Lawmakers did, however, give 5 percent annual pay raises to local elected officials.

Alabama in 2012 changed the pay for that state’s lawmakers to match the state’s average household income, which is currently $42,830.

Ohio’s median household is $49,429, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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