State Senators have rejected an opportunity to increase their future pay without having to vote directly on such raises.Lawmakers haven’t seen a pay increase since 1987, but opponents say this was a terrible time to consider changing that. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/03-07-Lawmakers-Pay-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=03-07 Lawmakers Pay Wrap1-WEB]
Senators make $18,000 a year, Delegates $17,640. Lawmakers also receive allowances for each day in Richmond along with health insurance and office staffs.
The House quietly and unanimously passed the bill last month. It would tie future legislative pay to that of state employees, starting in 2016. Senate leaders of both parties say the long period without pay increases is now discouraging many qualified people from running because they cannot afford losing their regular income. Opponents made note of the timing, both of the nation’s economy and the Senate’s own failure to pass a budget. The proposal was voted town 28 to 10.