RICHMOND, NOV. 27 -- Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, Lt. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr., the Democratic leadership of the Virginia House of Delegates and a group of state judges joined Gov. L. Douglas Wilder yesterday in proposing to cut their salaries by 2 percent.
House Speaker A.L. Philpott (Henry), Majority Leader Thomas W. Moss Jr. (Norfolk) and Democratic Caucus Chairman Alson H. Smith Jr. (Winchester) said the "first order of business" when the General Assembly convenes in January should be to cut legislators' pay.
The state officials and judges would lose the same share of their pay as 80,000 other state employees, who Wilder has denied a 2 percent salary increase that was supposed to take effect Saturday.
Steve Haner, spokesman for the Republican Joint Legislative Caucus, wasn't impressed by the Democrats' offer.
"I figured it out," Haner said. Based on legislators' $18,000 annual salaries, Haner said the cut "comes to 99 cents a day. If the legislature has in mind to take a pay cut for penance for big spending, it ought to be more significant than that."
Some of the state's 340 judges, who like Wilder and the other elected officials were exempt from the pay freeze ordered by the governor, announced they will comply with Wilder's suggestion that they, too, forgo a pay raise.
"If everybody has to bite the bullet, we're willing to bite the bullet," said John B. Preston, president of the Virginia Association of District Court Judges.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.