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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Elected Officials In Montana To See Salary Increase In July

A small stack of cash showing a $10 bill and a $20 bill.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Most of the statewide elected officials in Montana are expecting a salary increase soon under a state law that requires comparative pay raises every other year.

The Montana Legislature passed laws in 1995 that require the state Department of Administration to conduct surveys comparing the salaries of the state's elected executive branch officials and justices with the same positions in Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, the Independent Record reported.

Under the law, the Supreme Court justices and district court judges will receive a 4.2% raise on July 1. The salary for the Supreme Court chief justice will increase from $151,486 to $157,784, or the average salary of the chief justices from the other states.

The lieutenant governor and Supreme Court clerk will not get a raise, according to the data.

The survey that determines any changes to the salary is conducted before the end of June each even-numbered year, officials said. The new salary then takes effect July 1 the following year.

The changes this year will be in effect until June 30, 2023. However, elected officials can choose to not accept all or part of the raise. It is not immediately known if any official has declined the raise.

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, who will receive a more than $4,000 raise, said he will donate his entire salary to various philanthropies statewide. Those philanthropies have not yet been announced. His office released a statement on Friday saying he will make $122,693, which will be donated on a quarterly basis.

Gianforte said state employees outside the survey will get a 55-cent-an-hour increase during the next fiscal year under different legislation.

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