(State House News Service) -- Lawmakers will not receive a biennial pay adjustment this year freezing their base pay at $60,032 per year, Gov. Deval Patrick informed the treasurer in one of his final actions Wednesday night.
"I regret this outcome," Patrick wrote in letter to Treasurer Steven Grossman. "As you know, I believe that an adjustment in base compensation for legislators and constitutional officers is warranted."
The governor adjusts lawmakers' pay every two years based on changes to the state's median household income. That metric also adjusts the compensation of other constitutional officers.
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"Applying the same methodology I last used, there would be no increase or decrease in base compensation," Patrick wrote. Patrick said that if he had relied on a formula recommended by a commission on public officials' compensation, he "could reach a different conclusion," but did not want to change his methodology without the Legislature approving a new formula.
That commission also recommended pay bumps for legislative leaders and constitutional officers, a policy change that Patrick said he would have supported if lawmakers had taken action to close the state's budget gap.
After cutting $250 million in spending last year, Patrick filed legislation that Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor has said would be necessary to make another roughly $70 million in cuts. Others have asserted that the state's current budget hole is much larger.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo ultimately decided to wait to act on the projected budget deficit until the new Baker administration took over and a new Legislature was seated.
In 2013, lawmakers' pay was cut $1,100 reflecting a 1.8 percent decrease in the median income and putting the base pay at $60,032. That calculation was based on the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community survey and other reports of average weekly wages in Massachusetts.
Lawmakers' pay also decreased in 2011.
The letter was sent to Grossman's office around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, according to communications director Jesse Mermell. That time frame means the news arrived to the treasurer's office shortly after Patrick's ceremonial "Lone Walk" out of the building signifying the symbolic end of his administration, even though he'll remain governo until noon Thursday.
Patrick was required under the constitution to rule by Wednesday on any pay adjustments for legislators.
House and Senate leadership positions and most committee chairmanships earn lawmakers additional pay and some lawmakers collect per-diem payments for the cost of traveling to work at the State House.