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Committee Takes Up Bill To Raise Maine Governor’s Pay

Legislation raising the pay of the governor, judges and lawmakers drew little opposition at a public hearing before the State and Local Government Committee.

The legislative proposal came from the bipartisan State Compensation Commission and calls for significant raises, such as increasing the governor’s salary from $70,000 a year to $135,000 a year. The bill was introduced by Democratic state Rep. Danny Martin of Sinclair, who told fellow committee members he agrees with the need for increasing compensation, but the details are up to the committee.

“This committee can do anything it wants, quite frankly. What’s going to be hard is to get bipartisan support if we are going to get anything enacted,” he says.

The only member of the public to speak at the hearing, Bangor resident Larry Dansinger, says the state has many needs that are higher than pay for state officials.

“We are proud that we have kept them lower so that we can devote more of our resources to all state employees and Maine people,” he says.

The cost of the legislation will depend on what the committee supports, but could be millions of dollars. For example, it not only raises pay for lawmakers but would also increase their meals and lodging payments. Some committee members expressed concern over the cost of those proposals.

Updated March 6, 2020: an earlier version of this post misspelled Larry Dansinger's name.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.