The General Assembly has posted compensation and expenses for legislators, personal service contracts and legislative employees. The database can be accessed by selecting Legislative Branch Expenditures on the left panel of the Legislative Research Commission homepage.
Legislative pay and reimbursement is available for 2009 and 2010. Each legislator receives a base salary of a little over $20,000, a session daily expense allowance, session mileage, a stationary allowance, which is set at $500 for House members and $1000 for the Senate, an interim salary for authorized days of official business, an interim monthly expense allowance and reimbursement for travel expenses.
We looked at those numbers for members of West Kentucky’s legislative delegation for 2010:
Rep. Steven Rudy (House 1) - $62,655.24
Rep. Fred Nesler (House 2) - $80,651.67
Rep. David Housman (House 3) - $61,597.80
Rep. Mike Cherry (House 4) - $65,418.68
Rep. Melvin Henley (House 5) - $66,616.29
Rep. Will Coursey (House 6) - $67,966.00
Total these House members: $404,905.60
Sen. Ken Winters (Senate 1) - $67,074.05
Sen. Bob Leeper (Senate 2) -$68,013.12
Sen. Joey Pendleton (Senate 3) - $71,270.30
Total these Senators: $206,357.47
West Kentucky House members averaged $67,484.28 in 2010. West Kentucky Senators averaged $68,785.82 for their service. (These numbers do not include retirement benefits.)
West Kentucky legislators received higher reimbursements than their counterparts living near the Capitol. Travel to and from the Capital City account for the higher reimbursements legislators living farthest away receive. By contrast, Sen. Julian Carroll who represents Frankfort received $59,101.13 in 2010.
2010 was a “long session” year which, because a budget didn’t get passed in regular session, also included a short special session to enact a budget.
2011 is a short session year with legislators currently in recess until February 1st. This session is scheduled to end March 22nd.