Clark County legislators take different approaches to decreasing their salaries

As promised, state Reps. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, and Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, have taken a 3 percent voluntary pay cut in their legislative salaries, according to House staff. Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, has given his 3 percent to Share House, which works to help homeless and hungry Clark County residents.

In 2011, lawmakers reduced most state workers’ pay by 3 percent to help bridge a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit, but the reduction did not include lawmakers’ salaries. The state workers’ cuts mostly came in the form of more unpaid furlough days and larger employee contributions to health care benefits.

The 2011 Legislature passed a resolution that encouraged, but did not require, lawmakers and statewide elected officials to scale back their own pay. Legislative salaries are $42,106 a year.

For Rivers and Harris, the voluntary pay cut means they receive about $105 less each month before taxes and other deductions are made to their pay, the House’s Financial Services Manager, Christopher Carlile, said.

In Moeller’s case, he is making his donation to Share House based on his net pay, meaning after the removal of taxes and other deductions, including retirement contributions. Three percent of his net pay was estimated by House staff to equal $57 a month.

The Share House reported last week that it has received a $750 donation from Moeller to honor his commitment for 2011. He is expected to make another $750 donation this year. His yearly donations work out to more than $57 a month, which would total $684.

The Share House operates four shelters and provides hot-meal programs, as well as outreach and support for transitional housing.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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