Bill introduced to kill legislative pay raise

Rep. Paul Beckman (R-Prattville)
Rep. Paul Beckman (R-Prattville)

MONTGOMERY, AL - A Republican state representative has introduced legislation that would rescind a 61 percent pay raise lawmakers voted themselves in the last term of office.

Prattville Republican Paul Beckman says his first measure is a house resolution that repeals the pay raise. Beckman says the raise was approved in the form of an expense allowance because legislative pay is constitutionally set at $10 a day while in session.

The resolution was sent to the House Rules Committee.

Beckman says his second measure, House Bill 252, is more far reaching, calling for a constitutional amendment that would allow voters to resend the pay raise and create an independent pay commission. That commission would then decide future legislative pay issues.

"The Alabama Legislature has absolutely no business authorizing its own pay," said Beckman.  "I believe that a pay commission is the fairest way to address this issue."

Beckman's proposed pay commission would be made up of appointees from the governor, state auditor, state treasurer, and two from the Ethics Commission.  The terms of office would be staggered and pay commission members would assess the pay issue based on a number of factors including what legislative pay is in other states.

He said passing both measures would show taxpayers that lawmakers are willing to accept the same cuts that they're having to impose on state teachers and employees.

"I don't see how any member of the House or Senate will be able to look a teacher or state employee in the eye if we don't approve these changes." House Bill 252 has been assigned to the House Internal Affairs Committee.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Rep. Beckman's Press Office