A constitutional amendment approved in 1998 set up automatic base salary raises for lawmakers.
Every two years, legislative base pay goes up according to the state’s median household income.
This session’s raise brought the starting salary of just over $62,000 a year.
The new pay raise law also increases the perks that come from being in leadership positions.
The higher up politician is, the bigger the stipend that comes with that rank.
Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka are expected to receive a $45,000 increase in their stipends, bringing their annual salary up to $142,000 each.
Lawmakers argue the increase is necessary to attract young lawmakers that could be on a leadership track from choosing to leave the Legislature in order to go make money somewhere else.
Members of both major parties agree that if you want qualified candidates, you have to make sure they are earning a competitive and livable wage.