27 Investigates: Lawmakers’ pay drastically different

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tens of thousands of your tax dollars are going to pay the salaries of politicians. Ohio is sixth highest in the country in payroll for our elected representatives and Pennsylvania is second.

There is a huge difference in pay for lawmakers nationwide. California, Pennsylvania and New York have the highest paid politicians. They are considered full-time and have large staffs.

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers are raking in an average of $84,000 a year in addition to $157 per day per diem. In Ohio, lawmakers average a little more than $60,000 a year with no per diem.

Ohio and six other states have full-time politicians, but they have a smaller staff and are paid a little bit less. But the pay is drastically less in an overwhelming majority of states.

In the remaining states, all politicians are considered part-time and the salary is nearly a fifth of the pay of the highest paid states.

People have mixed reviews on how much state legislators should make.

Rudy Batka supports lowering lawmakers’ pay. She said a fair salary would be $30,000 to $40,000 a year. But John Young supports the pay of lawmakers in Ohio.

“If I was working full-time and that was my only job, $60,000 really aint that much,” Young said.

State Senator Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, said Ohio legislators haven’t had a raise since 2008.

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers have their pay raised due to inflation each year.

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