- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - State legislators will not be getting a pay raise as they begin a new two-year session, at least not yet.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick, in one of his final acts before his term officially ended Thursday, said in a letter to state treasurer Steven Grossman that he had determined there would be no increase or decrease in the base annual pay for lawmakers, now about $60,000.

Under a state constitutional amendment, the governor is charged with using a formula based on changes in the state’s median household income to adjust lawmaker pay every two years.

Patrick said he regretted the outcome and thinks legislators deserved a raise. He also noted that a special commission recently recommended increases in public compensation. The Legislature has not yet acted on those proposals.

The move drew the ire of Democratic legislative leaders.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said he didn’t understand Patrick’s thinking, given the recommendations of the special commission.

“I disagree vehemently with his decision,” Rosenberg said Thursday.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said while the decision is up to the governor, some House members have expressed concern about their pay keeping pace with expenses.

“During this last session, we lost a whole host of folks - good talented folks - many of whom would come up to me and I’m at the stage now where I have children who are growing, I have children who are talking about moving on to college,” DeLeo said.

He said some of those lawmakers said they loved their job and loved helping people, but couldn’t afford to stay in the Legislature.

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