Our Salary Setting Authority

The law directs us to base salaries on realistic standards in order to pay the elected officials according to the duties of their office and to attract citizens of the highest quality to public service.

In setting the salaries of the elected officials, we may:

  • Make salary adjustments to individual positions or to a group of positions such as the judges. These adjustments often are for equity or alignment purposes. (For example, in 2015 the Lieutenant Governor's and Treasurer's salary was adjusted to correct a salary inequity. Judges and Legislators also received an adjustment to continue to bring their salaries into alignment with their benchmarks.)
  • Grant an across the board adjustment such as a general wage adjustment (GWA) or make a flat dollar adjustment to individual positions, a group or groups of positions, or to all positions.
  • Make no change, retain current salary levels.

The Washington State Constitution expressly prohibits us from decreasing the state's elected officials' salaries during their current term of office. Our function is to set salaries. We have no authority or jurisdiction over any benefits the elected officials receive.