State board votes to keep legislator’s pay steady, eyeing potential cuts

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A state board tasked with regulating the legislature's pay voted Tuesday to keep salaries steady for the state's 149 representatives and senators. However, the board will consider reducing legislators pay at a meeting in the next couple months.

The nine-member Legislative Compensation Board voted to keep legislator's base pay at $38,400.

"Today, we decided to take a look at their compensation, as it relates to their performance," said board Chairman Wes Milbourn, who is also the president and general manager of KFOR-TV and KAUT-TV. "For right now, we’re going to hold their salaries at their current level. But in three months, we’re going to reconvene and take a real serious look at their performance."

"Oklahomans aren’t satisfied with the legislators. They’re not playing well in the sand box, if you will," Milbourn said.

The house and senate remain in recess from the special session called late last month to fix the state's roughly $215 million budget shortfall, created when the state supreme court ruled a cigarette fee passed during the last session unconstitutional.

"I think it's only fair," said State Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City, when reached by phone about the board's consideration of reducing legislator pay. "Legislators aren't doing their job, they don't deserve to get paid for their job."

Dollens, however, did voice concern about how pay cuts to legislators who aren't independently wealthy could affect lawmakers.

Others agree that a raise is definitely out of the question.

"We definitely should not receive a raise," said State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman. "As far as decreasing pay, I don't have a problem with that."

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