Georgia lawmakers propose big raises for themselves, other officials

Georgia

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) rubs his head as the debate on HB 531 persists in the House Chambers on day 25 of the legislative session at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Monday, March 1, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s House speaker is backing a plan that would nearly double pay for lawmakers and also boost pay for all statewide officials except the governor.

Base pay for the 180 House members and 56 senators would rise from $16,200 a year to $29,908. Lawmaker pay hasn’t changed since 1999.

Republican House Speaker David Ralston told reporters Wednesday that’s too long for people to go without an increase.

House Bill 675 would increase pay after the 2022 elections.

Rep. Wes Cantrell is sponsoring the bill. The Woodstock Republican says many people can’t afford to run for office because they would lose too much income.

Last year, lawmakers and the lieutenant governor actually took a 14% pay cut, reducing salaries because of budget cuts.

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