LD 165 , A bill sponsored by Rep. Bridgeo (D-Augusta), would see the governor’s current $70k salary increase to $125k. The proposed 44% increase would be in addition to the bill’s creation of a $40k annual expense account for the governor as well.
At $70k, the governor’s salary in Maine is the lowest in the nation. After Maine, the lowest paid governors are in Colorado, Arizona and Oregon at $92.7k, $95k and $98.6k respectively. New York’s governor has the highest salary at $225k, which is followed by California and Pennsylvania at $209.7k and $201.7k respectively. The remaining 43 states all pay their governors somewhere between $100 and $200 thousand annually.
Regionally, New Hampshire, Connecticut & Rhode Island are all in the $140k to $150k salary range, while Massachusetts and Vermont both pay their governors about $185k annual.
While the proposed increase would still leave Maine in the lower end for governor salaries, it would also put the governor’s salary at about 50% higher than Maine’s median household income of $63,182.
At this time, it’s unclear how many states provide a tax-free expense account for their governor and why, specifically, such an account would be necessary. However, this question will likely be addressed during the bill’s public hearing, the date of which has not been released yet.
If adopted, LD 165 would not take effect until 2027.