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Lawmakers, Judges Get To Unwrap A Raise This Holiday Season

The Pennsylvania State House chamber.
Matt Rourke

A raise this holiday season will give Pennsylvania state lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials an extra reason to celebrate.

Their salary increase for the year ahead will be 1.6 percent, a figure tied by state law to the year-over-year change in the consumer price index published by the U.S. Department of Labor for urban consumers in the mid-Atlantic region.

The bump takes effect Dec. 1 for lawmakers and Jan. 1, 2019, for judicial and executive branch officials. It is twice the size of last year's increase.

Highest-paid is state Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican. His salary will rise by about $3,400 to around $217,000. The salary of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, will rise about $3,100 to $198,000, although he donates it to charity.

Most lawmakers, already the nation's second-highest paid, will see a base pay increase of $1,430 to about $88,600. They also receive per diems. Lawmakers in leadership posts will top out at $138,300 for House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson.

The four party floor leaders will each make almost $128,400 while caucus whips and Appropriations Committee chairmen will receive $118,800.

County court judges will see increases to about $183,000, while judges in larger districts, such as Philadelphia and Allegheny County, will get slightly more.

The salary for the lieutenant governor-elect, John Fetterman, will surpass $166,300. Fetterman will be sworn in Jan. 15. The three statewide elected row officers — Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Treasurer Joe Torsella and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale — each will make about $164,700.

The salaries for the heads of Wolf's 18 cabinet agencies will rise by law, topping out at about $158,400 for leaders of the largest departments.