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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 29, 2021 11:00 AM
From: Representative Brad Roae
To: All House members
Subject: Allowing Legislators to Opt Out of the Annual Mandatory COLA
In the near future, I will introduce compromise legislation regarding the COLA that legislators get each year on December 1st.  Currently, all legislators are mandated by a 1996 law to be paid a salary that is adjusted by the COLA regardless of the Member wanting or not wanting it. 
My legislation would allow legislators to opt out of the COLA and keep their pay the same as it was when they were elected or reelected on each election day. 
Legislators can currently send the COLA back to the state, but it is complicated and time consuming.  Taxes must still be paid on the money and it still counts as income as far as SERS pensions, your kids qualifying for student grants, student loans and scholarships, as well as the hassle involved of writing a check each month to Treasury.  
My legislation would be an opt out law.  Legislators would be given a simple one question form asking something such as “Would you like your annual salary to remain the same for your entire term as it was on your election day?”  If a Member marks “yes”, their paycheck would be processed without the annual COLA.  Any Member who does not complete a form would automatically get the COLA.
It is good compromise legislation.  There is not enough support to eliminate the COLA or even eliminate it for one year like House Bill 583 attempted to do.  Members who want the COLA would be able to get it under my legislation and Members who do not want the COLA would not have to take it.   
Please join me in co-sponsoring this necessary legislation.

Introduced as HB2172