The average salary of U.S. governors decreased by four percent in recent years, but Kentucky was one of the few states to give its chief executive a raise during that period.
A report issued Thursday by the non-partisan and non-profit policy group Stateline shows that Gov. Steve Beshear is the 15th highest paid governor in the country at $145,885 a year.
The average pay for a U.S. governor is a little over $130,000.
Besides Kentucky, only Idaho and North Dakota gave their governors modest raises from 2009 to 2010 with most states citing their budget shortfalls as reason to cut the salary.
Two other states reduced their governors’ salaries from 2009 to 2010. Florida decreased pay by 2 percent, to $130,273 (Governor Rick Scott, a former hospital executive, does not collect his salary.) Hawaii decreased its pay by 5 percent, to $117,312.
The downward pressure on governors’ pay represents a striking turnaround. Between 2007 and 2009, nearly half of the states increased their governor’s compensation, according to the survey.
The highest paid governor is Andrew Cuomo of New York at $179,000. The lowest is Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who pulls in a meager $70,000 annually.