UPDATE:  After dramatic buildup Senate rejects raise for lawmakers, elected officials

A state Senate vote on whether lawmakers and elected officials should get a raise has been delayed by Democrats who think they should.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal

The state Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials recommended in November a $4000 raise for state lawmakers over two years and an 8-percent raise in fiscal years 2016 and 17 for elected officials like the governor. The state house rejected that but if the senate doesn’t concur today that raise will go through.

State lawmakers currently make $35,915 a year.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s (D-University City) district includes Ferguson, where she says she has been needed during the interim more than ever.

“I’ve had to make myself available because I do believe in service. I do believe in what we do, and I don’t believe that this job that we have is a part-time job,” Chappelle-Nadal said.

Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) says if Missouri wants the best possible lawmakers in the future, it should be willing to compensate them.

“The decision that we make today is going to drastically impact the quality of candidate that will come after us,” said Holsman.

Democrats filibustered the issue for more than an hour. If legislative action doesn’t block the raise by Sunday it will go into effect. The legislature goes home this afternoon and doesn’t return until Monday.

Critics say they don’t want to see state legislator salaries go up while state employee pay is the lowest in the nation.