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Boston and Beyond

November 28, 2013

Gov. Patrick to begin collecting full salary

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick will head into his final year as governor collecting the full $151,800 salary available to him through statute and the state constitution.

Patrick, who took office in 2007 on the brink of recession, has over the years foregone some of the salary he could have taken.

“For a variety of reasons I haven’t taken those increases yet. As the economy’s come back and the budget’s gotten stronger I might, before it’s all over,” Patrick told Boston Public Radio co-hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude earlier in November.

On Sunday, Patrick’s annual salary rate will increase from the $139,832 he currently receives to the full roughly $151,800 available to him, a Patrick aide said Tuesday, responding to a reporter’s previous query on the topic.

Patrick had a successful career as a lawyer in the Justice Department in the 1990s before working as an executive at Coca-Cola and Texaco. He has a house in Milton and a farm in Richmond.

“Don’t cry for me,” Patrick said during a conversation with Eagan and Braude about whether the governor’s pay scale should be increased.

The governor’s pay is set by state law and in the constitution, rising or falling based on changes in the state’s median pay for the preceding two-year period.

In 2007, the salary available to the governor increased to $147,281, increasing again in 2009 to $155,381 and notching down to $154,604 in 2011, and falling again by 1.8 percent this year.

The Legislature’s pay is set by a similar metric, causing some controversy in 2009 when the formula bumped up base pay by 5.5 percent when the country was in the throes of the Great Recession. Several legislators at the time said they would donate the $3,203 raise to local charities.

Patrick has said performing the hosting and other duties of governor carries notable costs and he will return to the private sector when his eight years as governor come to a close in January 2015.

“Well I need a job. And I’m not kidding,” Patrick told a room full of business leaders at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce earlier in November. “I don’t need one right now, but in 14 months I’m looking forward to returning to the private sector. I miss the private sector, especially on payday. And I think I owe my family some earnings and some time.”

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