Politics & Government

As long as Hoover has title of House speaker, he will get top pay

Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown.
Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown.

The embattled Jeff Hoover, facing more pressure to resign as speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, will continue to receive the top pay in the chamber as long as he is in that position.

Hoover’s salary will continue to be $235.57 a day every day the legislature is in session, including weekends and holidays, said Rob Weber, spokesman for the state Legislative Research Commission. The 2018 Kentucky General Assembly is scheduled to run through April 13.

Weber also said House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, whom Hoover said earlier this week would preside over the 2018 General Assembly until the Legislative Ethics Commission ends its investigation of a sexual harassment scandal, will get paid $216.88 a day.

All leadership members will be paid in accordance to the positions listed on the official LRC website, Weber said.

Hoover, R-Jamestown, said Tuesday, the first day of this year’s regular session, that he will remain speaker and let Osborne, R-Prospect, preside over the chamber, pending the outcome of the ethics commission’s investigation.

The commission is investigating allegations that Hoover and three other Republican House members sexually harassed a legislative staffer and then signed a secret settlement. There is no deadline for the investigation to be completed.

Hoover had announced last Nov. 5 that he would resign as speaker but not from his House seat. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has urged that the four resign from the legislature. On Wednesday, eight House Republicans formally called for the expulsion of Hoover. A bipartisan committee is to be formed to investigate the allegations.

As the sexual harassment scandal unfolds, there’s no change in salary for Hoover, who did not immediately comment on his salary.

The estimated daily cost of the 2018 regular session is $69,795.98. Most of that cost is for legislative pay. Legislators get paid seven days a week when they are in session.

Since this session is scheduled to run for 102 days — Jan. 2 through April 13 — the estimated total cost for the session is about $7.1 million.

Legislators who are not in leadership receive $188.22 each day.

Legislators in leadership roles receive the following daily pay: the House Speaker and Senate President $235.57; Floor leaders $225.62; and Pro Tems, Caucus Chairs and Whips $216.88.

Also, committee chairs receive an additional $18.71 for each meeting they lead.

Lawmakers have not received an increase in their daily session pay since 2010, said Weber. There are 100 state representatives and 38 state senators.

All legislators also receive $158.40 to cover lodging and meals. That means for the scheduled 102 paid days in this year’s session, a rank-and-file legislator will make $35,355.24 for pay, lodging and meals.

At the start of a session, each House member get $250 as a stationery allowance and each Senate member gets $500. Senators get more because their districts have larger populations.

When lawmakers aren’t in session, they receive $1,788.51 a month for home office expenses.

Mileage reimbursement for legislators is 54.5 cents a mile. It went up a penny from last year. The mileage reimbursement is for one round-trip to Frankfort each week during session.

Jack Brammer: 502-227-1198, @BGPolitics

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