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Lawmakers' pay raise to kick in

January 8, 2009
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Massachusetts lawmakers will be able to get a 5.5 percent pay raise, an automatic increase provided for in the state Constitution that is keyed to the increase in the state's median household income.

Governor Deval Patrick sent a letter yesterday to Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill saying that his administration had "ascertained . . . that the median household income for the Commonwealth for the preceding two-year period increased by 5.5 percent."

Under Article 118 of the amendments to the state Constitution, which was approved by voters in a 1998 referendum, lawmakers will see their base pay increase from $58,237 to $61,440. The automatic pay raise does not apply to the extra pay awarded for leadership positions.

Cyndi Roy, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, said that in the past some lawmakers have gone without the raise or donated it to charity.

She said legislators received pay raises of 8 percent in 2001, 6.5 percent in 2003, 4.1 percent in 2005, and 4.8 percent in 2007.

STAFF, WIRE REPORTS

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