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Mar 7, 2012 6:21 AM by Kate Richards

Co lawmakers pay could be in trouble

DENVER (AP) - Colorado lawmakers would have to forgo their pay and benefits if they don't agree on a budget on time under a proposal that gets its first hearing in the state Senate.

Democratic Senate President Brandon Shaffer, the bill sponsor, says the idea is a popular one with constituents and that it sends the message that lawmakers want to hold themselves accountable. But he acknowledges it's not a popular idea inside the Capitol.

The bill would kick in if lawmakers have to go into special session to agree on the budget. That hasn't happened in recent memory and lawmakers have questioned Shaffer's motives because he's running for Congress.

In Colorado, lawmakers are paid $30,000 annually so they receive $2,500 per month.

A Senate committee is hearing the bill Wednesday afternoon.

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