An activist filed a lawsuit Monday contesting a pay raise lawmakers approved for themselves last month, saying the state constitution prohibits the legislature from increasing its own members' pay.

The bill increased legislators' base pay from $69,647 to $81,050 and gives a bonus to the scores of lawmakers who hold committee posts. It also raised the salaries of Gov. Ed Rendell (search), senior executive branch appointees, judges, row officers and prosecutors.

Activist Gene Stilp filed the lawsuit in Commonwealth Court, naming Rendell and Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. (search) Last month, 15 Democrats who voted against the pay raise were demoted from their committee posts and were replaced with colleagues who voted for it.