a pay raise for Indiana’s top elected officials will make the state’s next governor one of the highest paid in the country.
State lawmakers have included the increases in the next biennial budget, though new salaries won’t take effect until January 1, 2025.
Indiana’s governor’s salary will increase 48% to equal that of an Indiana Supreme Court justice. Gov. Eric Holcomb currently earns about $134,000 a year, compared to the judge’s salary of $198,513.
As of 2022, Holcomb’s annual salary ranked 34th in the nation over that of other governors, This is evident from data from the Council of State, a non-profit organization sponsored by state governments. The organization collects salary data through an annual survey.
That increase would make Indiana’s CEO salary the fifth-highest salary in the nation, behind only New York, California, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
While pay raises are on the horizon for some other governors, the The new Hoosier governor’s salary is likely to be above most. The median annual governor salary across all 50 states in 2022 was $148,939. In the Midwest, the median salary is currently $139,520.
More pay for Indiana civil servants
The top state officials got the significant pay rise in the latest draft of the next two-year budget — though the language was never publicly vetted during the four-month legislative session. ((change)
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will deliver his State of the State address in the chamber of the Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Photo by Monroe Bush for the Indiana Capital Chronicle)
However, the incumbent governor’s successor – not Holcomb – will benefit first. Holcomb has a limited term and cannot run for his seat again.
Todd Huston, Speaker of the Republican House, said lawmakers have talked about salary increases for years as a way to make sure top officials are “on par with the other heads of government.”
GOP Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray added that those offices are “miserably underpaid” compared to other states. He also stressed that “not one of them” asked for the raise.
“This particular session, when asked, I stated that I understand (the raises) for others. But when I ran for this position, I knew what the salary was – so I didn’t support it for myself,” Holcomb said shortly after the budget was advanced by the General Assembly. “I was very happy that the leaders took that to heart and started after (my term ends). And so everyone who wants to apply in the future knows what the new salary will be.”
But Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, whose office would receive a 60% increase, was candid about her disapproval of the last-minute trial that saw the increases included in the state’s next spending plan.
“If it’s something that’s important to do, and if the work we’re doing really reflects higher pay — which I’m not arguing against — it should be part of the process,” said Crouch, who is running for governor in 2024.” It needs to be… discussed and vetted and people need to be able to weigh in.
Part of a national trend
New York has the highest governor’s salary at $250,000, while Maine has the lowest at $70,000, according to the latest data compiled by the Council of State Governments.
But governors in numerous other states will also see their salaries rise.
a account approved by the West Virginia legislature in March, the governor’s salary will increase from $150,000 to $180,000 starting in 2025. The increase is based on a statutory percentage of a member of the US Congress’s compensation.
Other state officials — including West Virginia’s attorney general, auditor, secretary of state, treasurer and agriculture commissioner — will also see higher pay.
In January, the governor of Alaska and members of the state legislature received a significant pay raise
Alaska’s State Officers Compensation Commission increased the governor’s salary from $145,000 a year to about $176,000 a year. In addition, the lieutenant governor’s salary increased from $125,000 a year to about $140,000.
But in New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law last month giving all elected officials statewide — except herself — a five-figure salary increase.
Lawmakers there excluded the governor from the proposal over fears she would break the law if she signed a bill that would give herself an interim pay raise. Instead, after the next election cycle, the governor of New Mexico will receive a $60,000 increase — from $110,000 to nearly $170,000.
Meanwhile, in Maine, a bipartisan effort is underway to raise the nation’s lowest governor’s salary from $70,000 to $125,000, starting with the next governor.
a account pending, would raise the governor’s salary for the first time in 36 years and also increase the director’s annual expense account from $30,000 to $40,000, effective January 2027.
Even bigger boosts for other Hoosier officials
Back in Indiana, the biggest salary increase among state officials will come for the lieutenant governor, whose salary will be 88% of a judge’s salary. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch will earn $108,819 and her successor will earn $174,690.
A photo of four of the six statewide elected officials whose offices would see a pay raise. (Photo from Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch’s Twitter)
However, the firm will lose its daily allowance under the proposal. Crouch has announced her intention to flee for governor in the coming cycle.
In the 45 states with lieutenant governors in 2022, the median annual salary for that position was $108,380. New York had the highest lieutenant governor salary at $220,000, compared to Texas, which had the lowest salary at $7,200.
The attorney general also sees a 45% increase, from $113,653 to $164,765, the latter of which is 83% of a judge’s salary. Incumbent Attorney General Todd Rokita has indicated that he is running for re-election in 2024.
Three other executive positions — the state auditor, state treasurer and secretary of state — will earn two-thirds of the justice’s salary, or $131,018. Currently those offices earn $94,501 and will see a 39% increase.
In 47 states, the median salary of secretaries of state was $121,628 in 2022, while the median salary for all 50 attorneys general was $139,075. States have different finance positions and duties, so it’s difficult to compare the salaries of accountants and treasurers.
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