Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2021 salary ranked 5th among the 50 states, almost twice that of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown
The Center Square
It is generally true that you don’t get into politics for the paycheck. Even though politicians have significant power and clout, as well as the ability to affect the lives of thousands, even millions, of Americans, elected officials make significantly less than most CEOs with that kind of influence.
Annual base salaries of elected officials top out at $400,000 for the U.S. president and can be as little as nothing for a small town council member. Members of the House and Senate earn a base annual salary of $174,000, or about $100,000 more than state lawmakers or the typical county commissioner. There is considerable variation in the salaries of governors too.
In Washington, the salary of the governor stood at $187,353 as of 2021, the fifth highest among the 50 states. For additional context, the typical state governor earns between $147,000 and $150,000. Meanwhile, the overall cost of living in Washington is estimated to be about 7.4% higher than the national average.
Currently, Democrat Jay Inslee serves as the governor of Washington. The governor’s current term began in January 2021 and ends in January 2025.
All governor compensation data is from the Book of the States 2021,originally published by The Council of State Governments. Cost of living by state for 2020 is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
|Rank||State||Governor||Gov. salary (2021, $)||Present term|
|1||New York||Kathy Hochul (D)||225,000||Aug 2021 – Jan 2023|
|2||California||Gavin Newsom (D)||209,747||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|3||Pennsylvania||Tom Wolf (D)||201,729||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|4||Tennessee||Bill Lee (R)||198,780||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|5||Washington||Jay Inslee (D)||187,353||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|6||Massachusetts||Charlie Baker (R)||185,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|7||Vermont||Phil Scott (R)||184,100||Jan 2021 – Jan 2023|
|8||Illinois||JB Pritzker (D)||181,670||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|9||Maryland||Larry Hogan (R)||180,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|10||Georgia||Brian Kemp (R)||175,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|10||New Jersey||Phil Murphy (D)||175,000||Jan 2022 – Jan 2026|
|10||Virginia||Glenn Youngkin (R)||175,000||Jan 2022 – Jan 2026|
|13||Delaware||John Carney (D)||171,000||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|14||Utah||Spencer Cox (R)||165,600||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|15||Hawaii||David Ige (D)||165,048||Dec 2018 – Dec 2022|
|16||Ohio||Mike DeWine (R)||164,590||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|17||Nevada||Steve Sisolak (D)||163,474||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|18||Michigan||Gretchen Whitmer (D)||159,300||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|19||North Carolina||Roy Cooper (D)||154,743||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|20||Arkansas||Asa Hutchinson (R)||154,115||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|21||Texas||Greg Abbott (R)||153,750||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|22||Wisconsin||Tony Evers (D)||152,756||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|23||Kentucky||Andy Beshear (D)||152,181||Dec 2019 – Dec 2023|
|24||Connecticut||Ned Lamont (D)||150,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|24||West Virginia||Jim Justice (R)||150,000||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|26||Oklahoma||Kevin Stitt (R)||147,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|27||Rhode Island||Dan McKee (D)||145,755||Mar 2021 – Jan 2023|
|28||Alaska||Mike Dunleavy (R)||145,000||Dec 2018 – Dec 2022|
|29||New Hampshire||Chris Sununu (R)||143,704||Jan 2021 – Jan 2023|
|30||North Dakota||Doug Burgum (R)||138,748||Dec 2020 – Dec 2024|
|31||Idaho||Brad Little (R)||138,302||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|32||Florida||Ron Desantis (R)||134,181||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|33||Indiana||Eric Holcomb (R)||134,051||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|34||Missouri||Mike Parson (R)||133,821||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|35||Iowa||Kim Reynolds (R)||130,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|35||Louisiana||John Bel Edwards (D)||130,000||Jan 2020 – Jan 2024|
|37||Minnesota||Tim Walz (D)||127,629||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|38||Alabama||Kay Ivey (R)||124,563||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|39||Mississippi||Tate Reeves (R)||122,160||Jan 2020 – Jan 2024|
|40||South Dakota||Kristi Noem (R)||118,728||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|41||Montana||Greg Gianforte (R)||118,397||Jan 2021 – Jan 2025|
|42||Kansas||Laura Kelly (D)||110,707||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|43||New Mexico||Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)||110,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|44||South Carolina||Henry McMaster (R)||106,078||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|45||Nebraska||Pete Ricketts (R)||105,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|45||Wyoming||Mark Gordon (R)||105,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|47||Oregon||Kate Brown (D)||98,600||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|48||Arizona||Doug Ducey (R)||95,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|49||Colorado||Jared Polis (D)||92,700||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
|50||Maine||Janet Mills (D)||70,000||Jan 2019 – Jan 2023|
This story was first published by The Center Square.
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