Governor's Council members set to see $5,000 raise
BOSTON >> Minimum wage workers won't be the only ones receiving a bump in pay on Friday. The new year will also bring a pay raise for the eight members of the Governor's Council, who are each set to receive a $5,000 salary increase in the new year.
The increase will mark the second time in a year that governor's councilors have seen their salaries rise thanks to language included in the 2016 fiscal year budget boosting their pay by a total of nearly 40 percent.
At the beginning of 2015, the eight councilors — Joseph Ferreira of Somerset, Robert Jubinville of Milton, Marilyn Petitto Devaney of Watertown, Christopher Iannella of Boston, Eileen Duff of Gloucester, Terrence Kennedy of Lynnfield, Jennie Caissie of Oxford and Michael Albano of Longmeadow — were earning $26,025. As of Friday, each will make $36,025 annually.
The budget section authorizing the pay increase broke the raise into two parts, with a $5,000 increase on July 1, 2015, followed by another $5,000 increase on Jan. 1, 2016. Currently, the councilors are paid at an annual rate of $31,025.
The $80,000 included in the $38.1 billion budget to pay for the raises marked the first pay increase for the council since 2006.
Elected to two-year terms representing eight geographical districts across the state, members of the Governor's Council meet weekly and are charged with vetting and approving the governor's judicial nominees. The council's other tasks include approving the appointments of notaries public and justices of the peace, certifying the results of statewide elections and authorizing Treasury expenditures.
Since beginning the new term with a meeting on Jan. 21, the council has held 44 assemblies in 2015, according to council minutes. Councilors approved six judicial nominations this year, and held a hearing on a land court nomination that was withdrawn before a vote. Four judicial nominations are pending before the council.
The council has also approved the nominations of one parole board member and four public administrators this year.
The Governor's Council is next scheduled to meet on Jan. 6 when it will hold a hearing on the nomination of attorney Melanie Gargas to the Probate and Family Court. The Judicial Nominating Commission, which recommends applicants for judicial appointment to Gov. Charlie Baker, currently lists at least 48 judicial vacancies in courts across the state.
The minimum wage in Massachusetts is also set to increase by $1 to $10 an hour on Jan. 1.
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