Pa. lawmakers, judges get to unwrap a raise this holiday season

Marc Levy
Associated Press
FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, file photo shows the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG – A raise this holiday season will give Pennsylvania state lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials an extra reason to celebrate.

Their salary increase for the year ahead will be 1.6 percent, a figure tied by state law to the year-over-year change in the consumer price index published by the U.S. Department of Labor for urban consumers in the mid-Atlantic region.

The bump takes effect Dec. 1 for lawmakers and Jan. 1, 2019, for judicial and executive branch officials. It is twice the size of last year’s increase.

Highest-paid is state Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican. His salary will rise by about $3,400 to around $217,000. The salary of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, will rise about $3,100 to $198,000, although he donates it to charity.

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FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2018, file photo Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia. With Wolf’s second term effectively underway, perhaps the biggest question in Pennsylvania’s Capitol is how Republicans who control the Legislature will re-emerge after suffering losses in the Nov. 6 election. The Republican majorities remain substantial, but they’re going to be the smallest since Wolf became governor in 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Most lawmakers, already the nation’s second-highest paid, will see a base pay increase of $1,430 to about $88,600. They also receive per diems. Lawmakers in leadership posts will top out at $138,300 for House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson.

The four party floor leaders will each make almost $128,400 while caucus whips and Appropriations Committee chairmen will receive $118,800.

County court judges will see increases to about $183,000, while judges in larger districts, such as Philadelphia and Allegheny County, will get slightly more.

The salary for the lieutenant governor-elect, John Fetterman, will surpass $166,300. Fetterman will be sworn in Jan. 15. The three statewide elected row officers – Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Treasurer Joe Torsella and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale – each will make about $164,700.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, left, talks to York County Fire School Administrator John Livingston at the school in Manchester Township, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. DePasquale announced funding of $55.1 Million that will be released to volunteer firefighters' relief associations in 2,518 municipalities across the state. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The salaries for the heads of Wolf’s 18 cabinet agencies will rise by law, topping out at about $158,400 for leaders of the largest departments.