Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A state panel has decided that the annual salary paid to Oklahoma lawmakers will remain at $38,400 per year.

The Legislative Compensation Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to make no changes to the salary and benefit package that state House and Senate members receive.

Former state Sen. Charles Ford of Tulsa made the motion to keep the salary levels unchanged. Ford says lawmakers probably deserve an increase in pay, but that it couldn't be justified given the current economic climate.

State lawmakers have not received a pay raise since 1998.

Lawmakers who live outside of the Oklahoma City metro receive the base pay plus $148 a day in per diem for each day the Legislature is in session. They also receive mileage reimbursement, a benefit allowance and retirement benefits.