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30 RI lawmakers refuse pay raise

July 19, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Thirty Rhode Island state lawmakers have refused pay raises this year.

As of Thursday, 14 state representatives and 16 senators have turned down an automatic $454 increase that went into effect July 1.

Legislative pay is adjusted every fiscal year based on the consumer price index. It's now $14,640.

The unclaimed pay will return to General Assembly's budget as a surplus.

Of the lawmakers who refused the increase, 17 are Democrats, 12 are Republicans and one is an independent.

State Sen. James Sheehan, a North Kingstown Democrat, says he didn't think a pay increase was appropriate given the state's economy.

Another lawmaker, Democratic State Rep. Lisa Baldelli Hunt, plans to donate her raise to community organizations in her Woonsocket district.

The General Assembly has 113 members.

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