Salary increase would improve legislature

As an outgoing member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, I am choosing to address a controversial issue: Are your elected officials paid enough or too much?
While there is often a perception that all elected officials are well (or over) paid, it may not be as straightforward as one may think.
When I am speaking with groups, I have asked the questions many times, “How much do you think a legislator makes?” and “How much do you think I should make?” When the group answers these questions, both numbers are higher than the actual pay.
Many states struggle with determining whether to employ a full-time professional legislature with a full-time salary to match, or to keep a part-time, citizen legislature that is not meant to pay like a regular career.
Currently, Oregon state representatives and senators make a salary of $2,600 per month or $31,200 per year in addition to $149 per diem each day the Legislature is in session.
Many state legislatures encounter what the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) calls the “pay problem.”
Most state legislatures are responsible for determining and voting for their own salary, which is difficult due to the perceived or real political fallout. I have never voted for a pay increase. My husband and I knew what the pay was when we made the choice for me to take this position.
The purpose for me writing about this topic is that I am concerned that the current pay scale eliminates single-income families. As someone who has been responsible for recruiting candidates for the Oregon legislature, I can tell you that finding young men and women who are building careers and raising families who are willing to spend seven months out of the year in an apartment in Salem is difficult work.
Instead, we end up with an over-representation of retirees or independently wealthy attorneys making decisions for rural, working-family Oregonians.
So, if you were to consider running for office in Oregon, what would be your pay requirement? Do you prefer to have your elected officials serve in a part-time capacity but only represent certain societal demographics, or would you prefer a wider swath of individuals serving in a more professional, full-time role?
As a member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly who is wrapping up her years of service in this capacity, I would like to see a broader representation of our society in the House and Senate. I believe increasing salaries of our legislative members is one way to do so.