Capitol Research

The Council of State Governments has been collecting data on governors’ salaries for The Book of the States since 1937. The average governor’s salary grew more slowly during and after the Great Recession, with many states instituting a ban on cost-of-living adjustments; however, as the economic and fiscal health of states has improved, the annual increases normally seen in executive branch pay are returning to a more historically customary level.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations play an important role in transportation planning, including producing a series of influential planning documents. But not all MPOs are created equal. Their geographic and population representation can vary widely and analysts contend that some MPOs lack the expertise or authority to be able to adequately judge the merits of transportation projects and shape a regional approach to transportation. While the 2012 federal surface transportation authorization bill known as MAP-21 included some modifications to the metropolitan planning process, some believe additional reforms are needed.

The Internal Revenue Service sets the federal reimbursement rate based on an annual study of fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile each year. Thirty-three states have a reimbursement rate that is the same as the federal rate. For those 17 states whose rates differ from the federal rate, reimbursement rates range from 31 cents to 57 cents per mile. No state reimburses at a rate higher than the federal rate.

While women continue to make gains in terms of their participation in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, more progress is needed before they will reach parity with their male counterparts. Women currently hold 25.3 percent of state elected executive offices, 24.3 percent of legislative seats and 29 percent of state court judgeships.

While occupations in the science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM—fields may not make up a huge portion of total jobs, those positions are growing quickly. STEM jobs are a bigger part of the workforce in some states or localities than in others. In addition, not all STEM positions are created equal. Wages for STEM positions can depend heavily on which industry they are in or where they are located.