New bill would set the salaries of state legislators equal to the average Michigan resident
A new resolution in the state house would set the salaries of Michigan legislators based on the salary of the average Michigan resident.
Currently, state legislators make a base salary of $71,000 with majority leaders making $95,000 annually.
Republican State Representative Steven Johnson introduced the bill to lower those salaries. He said the legislation would incentivize policies that benefit the state.
“When the economy is good when people are working, when their wages go up, our wages go up,” he said. “When their wages go down, then our wages go down.”
The measure could lower legislator salaries by more than $20,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average Michigan wage at roughly$50,000.
Johnson said it just doesn’t make sense for legislators to be getting rich while working on behalf of state residents.
“I don’t know of any other servant that makes more money than their master and the people that we represent, that’s our master,” he said.
Johnson said it is difficult to compare legislator salaries from other states because Michigan is one of the few full-time legislatures. But he said the state is in the top five states in terms of compensation.
If residents want the bill to pass, Johnson said, they should pressure their legislators to support the measure because it is not something representatives will pass on their own.
He said when he introduced the legislation he was not “the most popular guy in Lansing.”
If passed the bill would take effect in 2023.