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Missouri panel against pay increases for elected officials

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JEFFERSN CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A Missouri House committee is suggesting lawmakers reject a pay increase for statewide elected officials in 2017.

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday approved a measure to forego raises recommended by a state commission charged with evaluating salaries.

Recommendations included $22,000 more per year for Gov. Jay Nixon and ranged from eight to 10 percent increases for other state-elected officers. Members of the Legislature would have received $4,000 more annually, or an 11 percent raise under the commission’s proposal.

Republican Rep. Kevin Engler of Farmington says he wants to reject the increase, but says a better system is needed to determine whether officials deserve raises. Lawmakers have rejected proposals for salary increases since 2009.

The measure must be approved by two-thirds of both chambers before going to the governor.