FRANKFORT — Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo — rivals in next month's Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate — are taking a voluntary 10 percent pay cut.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear announced in December 2008 that he, Mongiardo and five key administration members would take a voluntary 10 percent pay cut in 2009 to save the state $100,000.
Beshear said late last year that the 10 percent cut would remain in effect for 2010.
On Monday, Conway spokeswoman Allison Gardner Martin released a Jan. 19 letter Conway sent to state treasurer Todd Hollenbach, advising that he intended, after April 15, to remit a check to the state treasury "in an amount to reflect a 10 percent reduction in my salary for calendar year 2009."
Conway said in the letter that he was taking the step "in accordance with the announced salary reduction plans of the Beshear administration."
Martin said Conway plans to file his taxes April 15 and thought that would be an appropriate time to send 10 percent of his salary for 2009 back to the state.
Conway will do the same in April 2011 for this year, she said.
Martin said Conway's action "had nothing to do" with Mongiardo and the U.S. Senate race.
"He did it because it's the right thing to do," she said. "Mongiardo had a news conference to announce his pay cut. Conway took care of it in a letter."
Valeria Cummings Swope, a spokeswoman for Mongiardo, said Beshear held the news conference to announce the pay cut. She acknowledged that Mongiardo attended it.
Beshear said at the time that the cuts were not a publicity stunt but a symbolic way to show his administration is "willing to share the pain" in state budget cuts.
With the pay cut in 2009, Mongiardo's salary went from $101,598.60 to $91,437.12. His salary this year with the cut will drop from $108,720.50 to $98,836.62.
Conway's salary last year was $105,836.44. It is $108,600.48 this year. With the 10 percent reduction, they will be $95,252.80 and $97,740.43, respectively.
The state Department for Local Government, using the Consumer Price Index, calculates salaries for constitutional officers.