Lawmakers' pay since session ended has ranged from $1,000 to nearly $30,000

11/17/2011 03:24 PM

Even though lawmakers have been out of session since the end of March, they’ve continued to work on committees and attend conferences — and they’ve been getting paid. But how much they got paid has varied considerably.

Lawmakers earn $188 per day worked plus travel expenses to meetings or conferences. That pay and those expenses are approved by the leaders of the two chambers, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams.

Of the current 137 state legislators, the average pay during the interim is $7,130.

Clark, despite being House Speaker Pro Tem, has been frugal, earning just over the legislative average at around $8,300.

Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, has the highest so far. He has spent many of his days working in Frankfort.

Rep. Dennis Horlander, D-Louisville, is just $2,500 behind Stumbo at $26,727.

1. House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg): $29,211
2. Rep. Dennis Horlander (D-Louisville): $26,727
3. Sen. Dan Seum (R-Louisville): $19,456
4. Rep. Dennis Keene (D-Wilder): $15,867
5. Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Louisville): $15,058
6. Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville): $14,681
7. Rep. Fred Nesler (D-Mayfield): $14,493
8. Rep. Tanya Pullin (D-South Shore): $14, 361
9. Rep. Derrick Graham (D-Frankfort): $13,552
10. Rep. Arnold Simpson (D-Covington): $13,364

Horlander declined to speak on camera about it.

He said in a phone interview later that he has attended more conferences on a range of subjects since he became chairman of the government contracts review committee.

“I take my job very seriously,” Horlander said. “I found that you need to know a little about everything.”

He also has been among the highest earners are lawmakers over the last two years. And he told the Courier-Journal’s Tom Loftus in a September 2009 article that he just tries to gather information to better serve his constituents.

“I just try to get out and do a good job,” he said told Loftus in an interview.

Horlander has been reimbursed in 2011 for attending at least 24 conferences and events beyond legislative committees, including:

  • 12th Ending Sexual Assault Conf. — $587
  • Diabetes Prevention in Kentuckiana — $198
  • Safety & Health Conf. — $593
  • KY Landscape Industries Winter Conf. — $198
  • UK Summer Series on Aging — $282
  • KY Assoc. of Blacks in Higher Ed — $583

Horlander said conferences like the landscapers meeting helped provide needed background for approving numeous landscaping contracts, including one for the University of Louisville. He also said he made a pitch to the group’s leader to encourage Kentucky companies to bid for those contracts because many are going to out-of-state firms.

To view documents, received through an Open Records request, about approved travel and interim pay for legislators between 2009 and June 2011, click here: ApprovedPay2009to11.pdf

To see what the legislators have been paid this year so far, see the Pure Politics review:


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