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With salaries tied to inflation, Pennsylvania state officials get a big pay raise this year

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Inflation is wrapping up another huge pay increase for hundreds of Pennsylvania legislators, judges and senior executive branch officials in 2023, including pushing base legislators and district judges into six-figure territory.

For many of these positions, it’s the biggest increase since the 1990s, when lawmakers passed legislation to give themselves annual pay increases tied to inflation rates.

Wages across the board will rise 7.8%, a figure tied by state law to the year-over-year change in the Consumer Price Index released this month by the US Department of Labor for Mid-Atlantic urban areas. .

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That wage increase is substantially higher, about 50% higher, than what federal data shows for average private sector wages in Pennsylvania over the same time period.

Grassroots legislators will earn nearly $103,000, or an additional $7,400. The highest-paid officials in the Legislature, the speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate, will earn more than $160,000, an increase of $11,600.

Governor-elect Josh Shapiro will earn nearly $230,000, an increase of $16,600 from this year’s governor’s salary, and Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, Debra Todd, will earn about $252,000, an increase of $18,000 for the position.

Pennsylvania civil servants will receive pay increases of 7.8%, lifting some to six-figure pay grades in a move blamed on inflation.

It’s the largest year-over-year inflationary increase for urban Mid-Atlantic areas in October since 1981, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. At that time, the United States resorted to tight fiscal policy to control “the Great Inflation.”

The increase applies to more than 1,300 positions, including governor, cabinet members, three statewide elected officials, all 253 state and county legislators and judges. It enters into force on December 1 for legislators and on January 1 for officials of the judicial and executive branches.

They are already enjoying a substantial increase in salary this year, 5.6%, also driven by inflation.

The highest paid position is that of state chief justice. The other six judges on the court will see their salaries increase to nearly $245,000.

The highest-paid executive branch official affected by the raise is the governor, although Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has said he has donated the salary to charity every year he’s been in office, since 2015. Shapiro will take office on 17 January to replace the limited-run Wolf.

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Lieutenant Governor-elect Austin Davis will see his salary rise to nearly $193,000, while whoever replaces Shapiro as attorney general will earn $191,000. Auditor General Tim DeFoor and CFO Stacy Garrity will also receive $191,000.

The state’s more than 300 county common plea judges will see their salaries rise above $200,000 to approximately $212,500, while hundreds more district judges will see their salaries hit six figures for the first time, surpassing $106,000 .

The wage increases come at a time of steady growth in the wages of private sector workers, albeit not as fast.

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Federal data for October showed that median weekly earnings for all private sector workers in Pennsylvania rose 5.1% year-over-year to $1,042, or about $53.50, to about $54,200 for an entire year.

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