Overview of the Commission

The Commission was created in 1987 by a constitutional amendment from the people to take politics out of the salary setting process.

We are charged with setting the salaries of the elected officials in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government:

  • Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Insurance Commissioner and, the Commissioner of Public Lands.
  • Members of the Legislature.
  • Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Court of Appeals, Superior courts, and District courts.

Our statutory policy and mandate is to:

Base the elected officials’ salaries on realistic standards in order to pay them according to the duties of their office and to attract citizens of the highest quality to public service. We are directed to study the relationship of salaries to duties and to set an appropriate salary for each position.

The law clearly sets out how and when we must conduct the business of setting the elected officials’ salaries. This work must be conducted every two years, we start in October of the even numbered years.

  • The first step of the process is to adopt a “proposed salary schedule”. This is done at our first public meeting.
  • We must then hold public meetings to take testimony and comments on the proposal.
  • A final two-year salary schedule is adopted at our last public meeting.
  • The salary schedule must be filed with the Secretary of State not later than the third week of March.
  • The schedule takes effect 90 days later unless a citizen referendum is filed to overturn it.
  • After the 90 day period has elapsed, the salary schedule becomes state law and cannot be overturned or modified by this or any other body.

In setting the elected officials’ salaries we may:

  • Grant increases to individual positions, to a specific group such as the Judiciary, or to all positions within our jurisdiction
  • Grant across-the-board General Wage Adjustments (GWA).
  • Make no change; keep salaries at current level.

The Constitution forbids us from decreasing the salary of any elected official during his/her term of office. We cannot evaluate performance; that is left to the voters.

We welcome your participation in setting the salaries of your elected officials.