LOWDOWN: The Price of Politics & Politicians

   What would you do for $16,800? Would you take a stressful, full-time job for $16,800 annually? Probably not. But guess who would? If you haven't figured it out yet, we’re talking about legislative pay in this episode of The LaPolitics Lowdown.

   While the pay might be meager, lawmakers also receive a pay diem, office allowance, reimbursement for mileage and other benefits. Lawmakers, of course, are also allowed to turn down these forms of taxable and non-taxable compensation. And we hear from one such politico in this episode. (It’s former U.S. Sen. David Vitter.)

   We also take a look back at that time the Legislature almost — Almost! — increased individual base pay to $37,500. That was when former Gov. Bobby Jindal endorsed the idea to better legislative relations, before he crawfished on it due to voter reaction and vetoed the enacting instrument.

   So kids… That’s how the Legislature that holds the all-time state record for the most consecutive days worked in a term ended up with a salary that was set 38 years ago. If lawmakers do want it changed, they’ll have to take the tough vote themselves. Good luck with that.

   But seriously… What would you do for $16,800? Let us know at news@LaPolitics.com. (And watch our new video!)

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