LEGISLATIVE COMPENSATION. The Constitution of 1876 set the legislator's compensation at five dollars a day for the first sixty days of a regular session and two dollars thereafter. During the thirty days of a special session he was to receive five dollars a day. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1930 changed the per diem to ten dollars for the first 120 days of a regular session and five dollars thereafter. The special session per diem was ten dollars. In 1954 another constitutional amendment raised the per diem to not more than twenty-five dollars for the first 120 days of a regular session and nothing thereafter. During special sessions the per diem was twenty five dollars. Still another constitutional amendment, adopted on November 8, 1960, allowed the legislature to pay its members an annual salary not to exceed $4,800, in addition to a per diem of twelve dollars during the first 120 days of a regular session and during 30 days of each special session. This rule was amended once again, on April 22, 1975, so that members of the legislature (although still meeting only every other year) received an annual salary of $7,200, plus a per diem of thirty dollars during both the regular and special sessions. A limit of 140 days was placed on the regular session. In 1991 the attorney general issued an opinion suggesting that the thirty-dollar per diem be regarded as part of a legislator's salary. Additionally, representatives who lived outside the Austin area could be eligible for an eighty-five-dollar per diem. Though the salaries of the legislators remained among the lowest in the nation, they had generous retirement benefits, starting at more than $19,000 a year, the third highest in the nation. Retirement pay was not subject to voter approval.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Dick Smith, "Legislative Compensation," accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mzl01.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles