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Oklahoma's Legislative Compensation Board voted unanimously to forego a pay or benefits increase for state lawmakers, The Oklahoman reports, saying such a move would send the wrong message to taxpayers.
Legislative pay will remain at the same level at which it has been for 13 years, the newspaper reports. The state's legislators are paid $38,400 annually, the 16th-highest salary for state lawmakers nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
House Speaker Kris Steele supported the board's decision, saying the state's coffers couldn't afford a pay raise during the economic downturn.
"It was the wrong signal," board chairman Nick Williams told The Oklahoman. "We live in an economic climate where businesses are going bankrupt, people are losing their jobs. It would send a horrible message."