HELENA — Montana’s Senate president says state lawmakers should take up a long-overdue bill to raise future legislators’ pay and not worry about the potential fallout from constituents who may see the measure as self-serving.
Republican Sen. Scott Sales of Bozeman volunteered to sponsor the bill after hesitation by other members of the Legislative Council last week.
The proposal Sales will sponsor in the upcoming session would peg future lawmakers’ salary to the average of neighboring states. It would boost Montana lawmakers’ pay 69 percent from $92 a day to $156 while in session.
Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas questioned whether the proposal should be dropped for other priorities after news coverage of it resulted in questions and negative feedback.
Sales said the Legislature should “take its lumps now” and it hopefully won’t have to revisit the issue.