BOSTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- If typical Massachusetts households lost about $300 in pay over the past two years, then state lawmakers should, too, Gov. Deval Patrick said.
Patrick lowered lawmakers' salaries by about $300 earlier this week, the first time the constitutionally required salary adjustment by the governor lowered pay instead of raising it, The Boston Globe reported.
In 1998, voters passed a measure tying median income and the pay of the state's 200 House and Senate members.
The 0.5 percent pay cut to lawmakers' $61,440 base salaries amounts to a reduction of about $6 a week and doesn't affect the money some lawmakers get for holding leadership posts or driving allowances, the Globe reported.
"I don't think the issue has anything to do with symbolism, or at least not principally with symbolism," Patrick said. "This is in the Constitution, and we're following the law."
Patrick's salary also is cut, the Globe reported Tuesday.
"We all understand the economy out there," Sen. James Timilty, a Democrat, said. "It's perfectly fine with me and with all my colleagues."