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Governors' Salaries Show Decline

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.From Stateline: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.