Lawmaker pay battles in citizen legislatures coming back in 2024

At least six considered bills or resolutions to raise their pay this year.
Afternoon sun shines on the New Mexico state Capitol building in Santa Fe, N.M., on Dec. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

Some state lawmakers who attempted to give themselves a raise this year are planning to try again in 2024, setting up what is likely to be another round of fierce debates in states where legislators earn a pittance for part-time work. 

For opponents, raising lawmakers’ pay in states with a strong citizen-legislature tradition strikes at the heart of what it means to be a body composed of regular citizens rather than of professional politicians. Supporters of an increase, meanwhile, argue that rock-bottom pay leads to a legislature disproportionately composed of retired or independently wealthy people. 

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