State Sen. James Sheehan, a Democrat who represents Narragansett, announced Tuesday he will decline his 1.5-percent salary increase.
"Given the state of the economy and the fact that there have been budget cuts, I will not accept the constitutionally guaranteed pay raise," he said in a statement. "I do not think it is appropriate in principle to accept a pay raise when sacrifices are being made all across state government and in most of the households in our state."In May, Rhode Island's unemployment rate was 8.2 percent—the highest in the country.
State legislators are eligible for annual salary increases tied to the the Consumer Price Index from the previous year.
The base pay for legislators is currently $15,171.55.
Legislators are also eligible for health insurance benefits. Sheehan said does not accept the benefits and has declined waiver payments.