Kentucky’s 2017 law-making session, which resumes Tuesday, will cost state taxpayers about $3.86 million. Most of that is to pay legislators.
The session’s daily cost to taxpayers is $67,697.33, according to the Legislative Research Commission’s public information office.
If lawmakers stick to their schedule of ending this year’s session on March 30, they will pick up an additional day of pay. That’s because they held a rare Saturday meeting on Jan. 7 to approve seven bills, which Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law, before adjourning until Feb. 7.
After meeting for five days in January, the state’s 100 House members and 38 state senators did not get paid during the break after the Jan. 7 meeting. Starting Tuesday, they will get paid every day, including holidays and weekends, through March 30.
That amounts to 57 total paid days for this year’s 30-workday session.
When the General Assembly is in session, rank-and-file members receive $188.22 per day in pay. They also receive $156.20 a day for expenses that cover lodging and meals.
That’s a total of $344.42 for each day in session, including holidays and weekends. For the 57 paid days in this year’s session, a rank-and-file legislator will make $19,631.94 — $10,728.54 in pay and $8,903.40 in expenses.
Lawmakers also receive a stationery allowance at the start of each session. Members of the Senate get $500 while members of the House get $250.
When lawmakers aren’t in session, they receive $1,788.51 a month for home office expenses.
Lawmakers have not received an increase in their daily session pay since 2010, said LRC public information officer Rob Weber.
However, their daily expense allotment increased slightly, Weber said. Last year it was $154. This year, it’s $156.20.
Lawmakers also get mileage reimbursement for one round-trip to Frankfort each week during session. The rate went down this year to 53.5 cents a mile, down from 54 cents.
The daily pay is higher for legislative leaders during sessions.
Floor leaders receive $225.62 a day. The Senate president and House speaker each receives $235.57 a day.
The pro tems, whips and caucus chairs each receive $216.88 a day.
Also, committee chairs receive an additional $18.71 for each meeting they lead.