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Va. Senate rejects pay raise for lawmakers

Tuesday - 3/6/2012, 3:50pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Senate has rejected legislation to give lawmakers the same raises that other state employees receive starting in 2016.

The Senate voted 31-9 Tuesday to reject the pay-raise bill, which the House of Delegates had passed unanimously.

Opponents of the bill said this isn't a good time for legislators to be raising their salaries, citing the economy and the Senate's failure to pass a budget.

Senators earn $18,000 a year, and delegates make $17,640. Supporters of the raise said the General Assembly hasn't raised its pay since 1987, when it went up from $11,000. They said some lawmakers have had to quit because they couldn't afford to spend substantial time away from their businesses, and unless pay is increased only wealthy people will be able to serve.

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