GOP-backed budget includes big pay hikes for governor, other top elected officials

The House of Representative meet in the chamber at the Statehouse, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Indianapolis. AP Photo.

By Whitney Downard
Indiana Capital Chronicle

INDIANAPOLIS — The state’s top elected officials would see a big pay raise under new salary language included in the latest budget proposal.

The increases, which would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025, were not included in a presentation released by GOP legislative leaders Wednesday afternoon. But that document did include salary hikes for Indiana State Police troopers.

Under the addition, the state governor’s salary would be equal to that of an Indiana Supreme Court Justice — starting with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s successor. Holcomb is term-limited and cannot run again for his seat.

Holcomb currently makes $133,683 annually, compared to the justice’s pay of $198,513. That salary would increase by 48%.

The biggest increase would come to the Lieutenant Governor, whose salary would become 88% of a justice’s salary. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch makes $108,819 and her successor would earn $174,691 – a 60% raise.

The office does lose its per diem under the proposal, however. Crouch has announced her intention to run for governor in the coming cycle.

The Attorney General would also see an increase of 45%, from $113,653 to $164,765, the latter of which is 83% of a justice’s salary. Incumbent Attorney General Todd Rokita has indicated that he will run for re-election in 2024.

The last three executive offices – the state auditor, state treasurer and secretary of state – would earn two-thirds of the justice’s salary, or $131,018. Currently, those offices earn $94,501 and could see a 39% raise.

The proposal is a significant bump that hasn’t been publicly vetted this session. Current law tying annual increases to those of other state employees remains.

Spokeswomen for House Speaker Todd Huston and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray had no comment Wednesday night.

As part of the budget, the language is almost guaranteed to become law unless legislators make a last-minute amendment Thursday – though the General Assembly will return for the 2024 session before it takes effect.

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The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to giving Hoosiers a comprehensive look inside state government, policy and elections. The site combines daily coverage with in-depth scrutiny, political awareness and insightful commentary.

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