FRANKFORT — Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo earned the highest salary of any state legislator in 2011, $47,114.
The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported on the top salaries paid to state lawmakers, and many in leadership positions are at the top of the list.
Rep. Dennis Horlander, a Democrat from Shively and chairman of the Government Contract Review Committee, came in second at $41,785. Much of the state pay has to do with how many days the lawmaker was approved to work during the gap between sessions.
Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville was third on the list with $36,189. He is the Republican caucus chairman in the Senate.
The pay records came from the Legislative Research Commission. The total compensation doubles most lawmakers' pay by including expenses. Salary is based on the number of days they work, and rank and file members get $188.22 a day. Committee chairmen and leaders get a bit more depending on their rank.
Senate President David Williams, a Republican from Burkesville, was seventh on the list at $28,088.
Stumbo said he's the highest paid because of the time-consuming nature of being the top House leader.
"I deal with 100 people on a daily basis on a variety of things from committee meetings, to office space, to personnel problems, to constituent requests, to what we are going to do in the next session," he said. "It's a more time-consuming job than when I was attorney general."
Stumbo said his salary last year was so much higher than Williams' partly because Williams was campaigning for governor.
Williams did not dispute that. "If I was in Frankfort for a day for the campaign, even if I stopped in and did some legislative work ... I didn't turn the day in," he said.
Horlander, who was second on the list, turned in 156 interim days in 2011. He said many of his days dealt with work for the contract-review committee he chairs, which vets state contracts that deal with every possible issue.
"I take my job very seriously. Contracts that come to us deal with education, local government, transportation, public health," he said. "In order to make the right decision, I have to know a little bit about everything.