Why La. lawmakers will still get paid for time they were not at capitol during pandemic

La. lawmakers to receive full pay even though session was shortened

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Even though the coronavirus kept Louisiana’s lawmakers home for 49 days, they’re still getting paid for those days as if they were at the state capitol.

It’s a debate that has come up constantly over the last decade: for every day lawmakers spend in session, they receive $161.

For the 85 days they were slated to be at the capitol this year, they’ll make around $14,000 on top of the annual $17,000 salary they receive yearly.

But because of the coronavirus, this session was basically cut in half and lawmakers spent seven weeks at home.

So, it sounds like they’re just stealing your tax dollars here but two things to keep in mind: most lawmakers are working whether they’re in the capitol building or not. We know their offices have been flooded with phone calls.

The other thing: their pay is set in the state constitution. They legally have to get their money because they paused the session instead of ending it. Of course, ending the session after just seven days would have really complicated things.

Some lawmakers have already said they’ll donate their salaries and Louisiana’s Legislature is really not well-paid compared to the other 49 states.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.