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Lawmakers back salary increase for themselves

Coram, Roberts support hike; Brown opposes

DENVER – Colorado lawmakers on Wednesday sent a bill to the governor that would raise salaries for themselves and other elected officials.

The pay bump would be the first increase since 1999, as previous legislative attempts to raise salaries failed.

Senate Bill 288 was introduced and sent through the Legislature very quickly, having been introduced late, on April 30.

It received a vote in the House of 33-30, with Rep. J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio, voting against the raise, and Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, supporting it.

The Senate backed the bill by a vote of 21-14, with Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, supporting the measure.

The new salaries would not kick in until 2019, meaning many lawmakers voting for the bill would not be serving at the time. Gov. John Hickenloopeer also would be term-limited by then.

The price tag of the bill is $1.3 million. It would increase pay for executive elected officers, lawmakers and other local officials.

Lawmakers, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer would receive salaries based on a percentage of certain judicial salaries, such as the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Based on current budget figures and judicial salaries, the governor would receive a 30 percent pay hike, from $90,000 a year to about $117,000 a year; attorney general would get about $102,000 instead of $80,000; and other constitutional officers would receive about $88,000 compared with $68,500.

Lawmakers would see pay raises of almost 27 percent, from $30,000 a year to about $38,000 a year. County officials would receive raises based on the size of a county and other formulas.

Those numbers could jump to increases as high as 42 percent if judicial salaries spike and inflation increases by at least 2.3 percent.

pmarcus@durangoherald.com

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