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Conservatives rally behind pay raise for Nebraska lawmakers

Conservatives rally behind pay raise for Nebraska lawmakers
Nebraska Unicameral

Six years after Nebraska voters rejected a pay increase for state lawmakers, a fresh crop of senators is asking again.

A legislative panel will review a proposed ballot measure Wednesday that would set lawmaker salaries at half of Nebraska’s median household income, currently about $28,000.

Nebraska lawmakers now earn $12,000 a year before taxes, placing them among the nation’s lowest-paid state legislators. Some conservative lawmakers and groups that once opposed an increase say they now support the idea because they’re struggling to recruit new legislative candidates.

Supporters say the raise would help diversify a Legislature dominated by retirees, lawyers, business owners, and those who are young and childless.

Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha says increasing pay would allow more working people to run for the Legislature.

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