The S.C. House passed a $12,000-a-year pay raise for legislators by overriding the governor’s budget veto on Tuesday.
Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed the raise condemning the way lawmakers originally went about increasing their pay. Haley said the raise should decided by voters.
State Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Berkeley, told the House that the General Assembly last increased its pay was in 1995. Legislators' districts have grown about 33 percent since then, he said.
In addition, if legislators do not want the pay raise -- aimed at paying for expenses while traveling around their districts -- they can opt out, he said.
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Merrill said lawmakers would have to wait four years before voters cast ballots for a legislative raise.
It will now take two-thirds of senators to override the governor for the raise to take effect. Senators added the pay raise when the budget was in its Finance Committee.
Haley took to Facebook and posted a photo of the vote tally sheet.
"Unreal. The House just reconsidered and voted themselves a pay raise," she wrote. "Those who voted (yes) or didn't vote at all ... supported raising their own pay. Thank those who voted (no) and stood with us."