Many Pa. lawmakers decline raise

    Pennsylvania lawmakers and other government officials got a pay raise Tuesday, but many legislators insist they don’t want the extra money.A 1995 law ties government officials’ pay to the region’s consumer price index, so lawmakers, cabinet secretaries, judges and row officers are getting a 1.7 percent raise. It amounts to a $1,300 pay bump for rank-and-file lawmakers.Auditor General Jack Wagner said the automatic increase is a bad move during a recession, pointing out Social Security benefits stayed level for older Pennsylvanians this year.”They don’t get an increase. They turn around, they look at Harrisburg. They look at the judicial system, they see a 1.7 percent cost of living adjustment,” said Wagner. “That’s wrong. It’s wrong at this time.”Dozens of lawmakers are vowing to return the money to the State Treasury, and Gov.-elect Tom Corbett says he’ll give his raise to charity.Since 2008, 32 senators and 98 House members have sent checks to the Treasury returning part of their pay increases.A Treasury spokeswoman says the department has deposited the $191,000 back into the General Fund.

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