The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission returned to the drawing board on Thursday ostensibly to rectify maps deemed unconstitutional by a federal court last December.

Their first order of business, however, was to take a vote on raising their own salaries.

Go Ad-Free, Get Content, Go Premium Today - $1 Trial

Commissioners voted 9-4 to give themselves a 40% raise, which adds an extra $16,000 to their annual compensation. The raise is retroactive to work already performed this year between mid-January to the beginning of this month.

Previously, commissioners received just under $40,000 annually, but will now be compensated just under $56,000 annually.

Commissioner Rebecca Szetela voted against the raise.

Quoted by Western Michigan University public radio station WMUK, Szetela said: “From January 1 to yesterday, so March 20, I calculated that we worked 126.4 hours. That works out to a little more than 11 hours a week, and if you actually figure out the hourly wage for that, it’s about $63 an hour,” Szetela said.

Go Ad-Free, Get Content, Go Premium Today - $1 Trial

“Rather than kind of checking what we’re spending on, we’re proposing raising our costs by raising salaries. That just seems extremely irresponsible from a fiscal perspective,” she said.

Szetela was also quoted as saying the Commission had already spent 55% of its fiscal year budget.

The Commissioners voted themselves a 7% raise in 2022 but rescinded the increase after public backlash. Subsequent attempts to increase their compensation failed to garner enough votes until Thursday.

Commissioner Anthony Eid, quoted in the Detroit News, called the raise “fair compensation.” He added the raise was “just following the precedent we already set during the initial mapping process,” Eid said.

Eid was elected the board’s new chair Thursday.

Last December, the three-member District Court for the Western District of Michigan ruled that the Commission violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Claus, and ordered the Commission to redraw 13 House and Senate districts.

“We enjoin the Secretary of State from holding further elections in these districts as they are currently drawn,” the justices wrote in their determination.