• Top Mass. lawmakers handing out raises to staffers


    BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts' two top lawmakers are handing out raises tohundreds of staffers even as the state faces declining revenues that couldforce budget cuts.

    House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray agreed to the3 percent raises last week.

    The Democratic leaders have the authority to dole out raises. Houseemployees haven't seen an increase since 2008.

    While DeLeo gave the 3 percent raise to 460 House employees, Murray gave theraises just to her staff.

    A spokesman for Murray said individual senators control their own office andstaff and can make their own decisions about raises.

    State tax collections for the past four months have fallen below expectations.

    Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday he's waiting to see November revenues beforemaking any decisions about potential budget cuts.

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