In re: Pay cuts, the members of the Texas Legislature make only $600 per month--slightly more when in session. The Lieutenant Governor makes $7,200 per year--same salary as a legislator. While the governor and other statewide executives receive salaries in the <=150k range, members of the Texas legislature are pretty vastly underpaid as it is. There is not much to cut from their salaries.Similar grousing comes up in San Antonio with regards to our local leaders from time to time, as well. Such comments betray a jaded sensibility about politics in general, typically from those more removed from the process. Close observers understand the hobbling councilmembers must endure when it comes to doing the jobs voters give them. When it comes to pay on our Council, it’s worth noting San Antonio doesn’t exactly lay out an appetizing spread. A Pew Charitable Trusts report City Councils in Philadelphia and Other Major Cities: Who Holds Office, How Long They Serve, and How Much It All Costs (PDF) reveals that:
Los Angeles has the highest average salaries for council members, $178,789, and San Antonio has the lowest, a maximum of only $1,400 per member. The average council salary in Philadelphia is $121,107, fourth-highest out of the 15 councils studied.Honestly, as a look at the chart below suggests (click to enlarge), when it comes to the largest cities in the U.S. (plus five similar in size, location to Philly), SA simply falls off the chart. It makes it particularly difficult for candidates from the lower end of the wealth pool to play a serious part in local politics.