OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislative assistants working for the Oklahoma House of Representatives have gotten pay boosts of $7,500, according to House staff.
The raises, effective Nov. 1, will cost $363,137.
Base pay for the 39 House legislative assistants will increase to $47,000 from $39,500. The average pay for a state employee is $47,254, according to the 2018 Annual Compensation Report by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
“The House is bringing legislative assistant salaries in line with market rates and comparable positions across government to maintain service levels to the public,” House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said in a statement. “Slowing the annual exodus of good House employees who take virtually identical jobs at other government entities because the pay is better improves the House’s ability to perform its duties for the public.”
The base salary for a Senate legislative assistant is $48,402, according to Senate staff.
According to House staff, at least 32 of the current 48 Senate legislative assistants used to work for the House.
“Over the past decade, the House has created greater efficiencies utilizing fewer employees,” McCall said. “We encourage anyone evaluating this to view it in full context.”
According to House staff, in 2009, the House had 146 full-time employees and 83 temporary posts. This year the House expects to have 125 full-time employees and 29 temporary posts.
The House has 101 members. Many legislative assistants work for more than one member.
During the last legislative session, the House, Senate and Governor’s Office got a hike in appropriations.
The House received $7.4 million in additional funds, an increase of 37%.
Lawmakers have recently signed off on pay raises for teachers and state employees.
Last month, the Legislative Compensation Board voted to increase legislative pay by 35.6%, effective Nov. 18, 2020.
Base pay for state lawmakers will rise to $47,500 from $35,021.