The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 20, 2012

Top Pa. officials eligible for 2.2 percent raises

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s state lawmakers, judges and top executive-branch officials are in line to receive automatic pay raises of 2.2 percent, thanks to a state law that practically ensures them a pay boost every year.

As a result, Gov. Tom Corbett will be eligible for a $187,256 salary, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille will be eligible for a $205,415 salary and House Speaker Sam Smith and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati each will be eligible for a $130,820 salary.

Corbett will refuse the pay increase and continue to accept a salary of $174,914, which is what it was when he was elected in 2010, spokesman Kevin Harley told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley is eligible to make $157,293, although he will accept the 2010 salary of $146,926, his office said.

Corbett’s Cabinet secretaries also will continue receiving the salaries that were assigned to their post in 2010, Harley said. Those salaries range from $125,939 to $139,931, typically depending on the size of the agency. Three years of salary increases have raised them to a range of $134,824 to $149,804. Some top staff members of the governor’s office and Legislature who are not subject to that law make six-figure salaries, as well.

Each year, a 1995 state law adjusts the salaries to reflect changes over the last 12 months in the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The salary adjustment for judges and top executive branch officials takes effect Jan. 1, while lawmakers see the change Dec. 1.

Supreme Court justices other than Castille will make $199,606. The president judges of the Superior and Commonwealth courts will make $194,145, while the rest of the judges on the two statewide appellate courts will be paid $188,337. Common pleas judges will make $173,271 and magisterial district judges will make half that, $86,639.

Rank-and-file lawmakers’ salaries will increase from $82,026 to $83,802, while 14 members of leadership in each chamber will make more than that, topping out at $121,418 for the party floor leaders.

 

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