The Center for Rural Affairs is a member of a far ranging coalition, chaired by University of Nebraska Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen, to support Amendment One, a Constitutional amendment on Nebraska’s primary ballot May 9, 2006 that would increase State Senators’ salaries. Other Yes on Amendment members include both the Republican and Democratic parties, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Nebraska AFL-CIO.
Amendment One would increase the pay of State Senators from the current $12,000 annually to $21,000 beginning in 2007. Each year after that, the salary would increase based on the change in the consumer price index, but will never exceed a four percent annual increase.
“Amendment One addresses a key issue facing citizen government in Nebraska. Not only have we not addressed this issue since 1988 when the salaries were raised from $4,800 to $12,000 annually, but it is one of the lowest in the country and deters good people from serving in state government,” said Doug Kristensen, UNK Chancellor, former Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature and Chair of the Yes for Amendment One Committee.
The legislative salary increase will cost each Nebraskan 16 cents per year.
Why is Amendment One good for Nebraska?
• It is important to pay Senators enough so they can serve and support their families.
• State Senators’ pay should be commensurate with their responsibility.
• Amendment One reinforces the idea of a representative government by addressing a major financial obstacle many Nebraskans have to consider before running for the legislature.
• State Senators do not receive health insurance or any other benefits and only receive a per diem for expenses and mileage when the legislature is in session. When senators travel and meet with constituents in their districts, they receive no compensation.
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