262 state employees earn more than Gov Whitmer in annual salaries

In the private business sector, the top CEO of major corporations generally take home the largest paychecks and everybody below them earns less.

But in the public government sector - even though Governor Gretchen Whitmer runs the entire executive branch with thousands of employees - a whopping 262 of those state employees earn more than her $159,000 salary. And about 16 of her department heads also earn more.

For example, the state school superintendent, Dr. Mike Rice earns just over $251,000 a year.

The next highest state employee is Major General Paul Rogers who runs the National Guard with take-home pay at just over $221,000.

The state public health director, Elizabeth Hertel, also earns more than the governor, with a salary of $198,000

Four of the highest-paid state bureaucrats are in the Bureau of Investments. Their job is to pick winners and losers in the stock market using state employee retirement dollars.

They pull down a respectable $535,000 yearly - almost $400,00 more than the governor.

Former State Rep. Tom Cochran chairs the state commission that sets the governor's salary and his reaction to 262 making more than her, was shock.

"It's beyond my understanding how that is," he said. "I understand how it is. It is obviously the politics of it. But it's just not right. It just boggles my mind in looking at the statistics and the numbers."

The governor is not alone  The Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have employees who earn more than $112,000 a year.

The pay commission has tried to increase those paychecks but failed he says, because of partisan politics.

"She's a Democrat and the legislature had been a Republican majority up until the last election," Cochran said. "And there was no way you're going to see a vote for an increase for a Democratic governor."

The governor obviously does not work a 40 hour week, but just to compare it to you, if she did, her hourly wage would be $76.00. Thanks to the MIRS newsletter for this data.