MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This November we Alabamians will be casting votes on 10 amendments in addition to the state and federal races on the ballot. One amendment sure to get a lot of attention focuses on legislative pay and expenses. It reads as follows:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to repeal the existing provisions for legislative compensation and expenses and establish the basic compensation of the Legislature at the median household income in Alabama; to require legislators to submit signed vouchers for reimbursement for expenses; and to prohibit the Legislature from increasing the compensation or expenses payable to its members.
The median household income in Alabama according to the U.S. Census is $42,000; according to the legislative fiscal office the current average pay for Alabama House and Senate members is $53,000 thus concluding if this amendment passes our legislators will see a decrease in their compensation.
Is this wrong? We don't think so. Why shouldn't our representative's compensation be directly tied to the compensation of the people they were voted in to serve? More jobs, better pay for Alabamians - House and Senate members pay goes up. Fewer jobs, less pay – legislators pay goes down. This way we are all in the same boat and will either enjoy more income together or make do with less and feel the same pain.