State lawmakers look at pay raise for themselves - - Columbia, South Carolina

State lawmakers look at pay raise for themselves


South Carolina lawmakers tinkering with the state's $7 billion budget added pay raises for state employees and themselves to one version of the budget.

In the Senate version of the budget, state employees would receive a 1.5 percent pay increase.

Some senators say they've been fighting for this for years, and they originally aimed for a 3 percent increase.

Lawmakers also approved an extra $1,000 a month for themselves to cover their travel expenses within their home districts. That's roughly $2 million of the state's budget.

"It's been since the last time that district expense was raised," said Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee/Pickens). "You get a lot of individuals who are in rural districts or multiple counties and they have a lot of area to cover."

However, Senate Pro Tempore John Courson said it's not appropriate to increase that pay.

Only four senators voted against increasing their salary.

On average, lawmakers receive roughly $10,000 a year.

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