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Utah's Governor is due a sizable pay raise more than $40,000 and the state's other elected officials and judges are also due a salary hike, according to a commission that studied salaries for elected officials across the country.
The report by the Elected Official and Judicial Compensation Commission recommended increasing Gov. Gary Herbert's annual salary from $109,900 to $150,000, an increase of 36.5 percent.
The salaries of the lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor and treasurer, which are all set at 95 percent of the governor's pay, would increase from $104,400 to $142,500, based on the commission's recommendations.
The commission said it had been nearly a decade since any of those salaries had been increased and, as a result of the stagnant pay, those elected officials now oversee many employees who are paid considerably more money.
"There should not be an assumption that individuals holding these offices are either independently wealthy or will be required to augment the position's salary with other financial resources," the commission wrote in its report.
The commission made similar recommendations to the Legislature last year, but lawmakers did not give the officials raises.
Herbert is currently paid less than 26 of the officials he appoints to his administration, including his Cabinet. Among a sample of 19 city and county attorneys, nearly all of them were paid more than Attorney General Sean Reyes.
The commission also recommended raising the salary for a Supreme Court justice from $150,150 to $176,024, and increasing the pay for appeals court judges and district court judges to $168,012 and $160,000, respectively.
The courts may end up in a situation where qualified attorneys won't seek a spot on the bench if they have to make a drastic financial sacrifice to do so, the panel said.