Arkansas lawmakers' expenses decline as salaries increase

Arkansas lawmakers' expenses decline as salaries increase

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Expense payments to Arkansas lawmakers dropped from $4.02 million in 2014 to $2.29 million in 2016 while their salaries rose from $2.13 million to $5.28 million.
    
2016 is the first full calendar year since a commission created by voters increased the salaries of legislators from $15,869 a year to $39,500 and raised salaries of the House speaker and Senate president pro tem from $17,771 a year to $45,000.
    
In exchange for the increased pay, the Legislature eliminated the payment of up to $14,400 to lawmakers for office expenses.
    
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that combined salary and expense payments to lawmakers totaled $7.57 million in 2016 -- up from $6.15 million in 2014.
    
Lawmakers meet in regular session in odd-numbered years and meet in even-numbered years for a fiscal session.
    
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press/KAIT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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