Members of Philadelphia's state Senate delegation have decided to forego the 1.7 percent cost-of-living pay increase that went into effect earlier this month.

Shirley M. Kitchen (D., Phila.), the delegation leader, said Tuesday that difficult economic times and the struggles of working families across Pennsylvania were reasons for rejecting the raise. "Returning this money was something we all agreed we should do," Kitchen said in a statement released Tuesday.

The delegation joined state officials, including Gov. Rendell and Tom Corbett, who have vowed not to accept the salary adjustment. Corbett, who will be sworn in as governor Jan. 18, has said he will donate his raise to charity.

Rendell has been returning his cost-of-living raises to the state treasury for several years. - Bonnie L. Cook