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Senators slimly approve increasing monthly stipend with conditio - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Senators slimly approve increasing monthly stipend with conditions

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

After some back and forth, Senators finally resolved the issue of lawmaker pay raises.

Senators voted last night to make the proposed $1,000 per month increase to their stipend optional.

Lawmakers who feel they need the extra travel money will have to present receipts and documentation of how they used the money.

It passed third reading with slim margins -- 25-20. Senators had initially allocated $2 million for the pay increases, but instead transferred that money to the local government fund.

Senators say it will now be up to House representatives to keep the proposal alive.

"They're the ones who will get the budget back first from the governor," said Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens). "There's no question that item will be vetoed and if it is vetoed, they will have to be the ones to override it first. So they have to determine if they have 2/3 of their members to override the veto."

Lawmakers draw an annual salary of $10,400, in addition to a monthly stipend of $1,000. Those figures have not been updated since 1995.

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