By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, on the Alabama Senate Floor, Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) strongly urged Alabama senators not to accept the automatic pay raise this year.
In 2007, the Democratic led legislature voted to give lawmakers an automatic cost of living pay raise each year that did not require an annual vote.
Holtzclaw said, “I encourage these and other media across our great state to tell the rest of the story. Your readers, our constituents, need to know which legislators are going to accept the cost of living increase.
This year’s cost of living increase would equate to $134 per month. Holtzclaw said that senators should not accept this “while Alabamians, including our state employees and teachers face the same increased cost of living and they have not seen an increase in years.
Due to budget constraints, Alabama’s teachers have not received a pay increase in four years.
“I am truly left wondering how anyone can justify this increase and encourage my colleagues to formally decline the cost of living increase through the letter provided by the state Secretary of the Senate,” said Holtzclaw.
Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) added, “I think it is something, realizing how tough our budgets are, how dire the situation is for not only jobs and state employees but also the education community, we need to be conscience of that and show, by leadership, that we are going to turn down any cost of living increases. The state employees haven’t received any and the budgets are still in tough shape. So, we should lead by example.”
Senators have until April 1 to formally decline the pay increase.