Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Spender of the House Declines $800 Pay Raise, Receives Million Dollar Budget Increase

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard has declined an automatic pay raise scheduled for this year that would amount to around $66 a month. The budget increase for his office, however, will well make up for the difference, with the Speaker’s appropriation increasing by $83,434 a month.

Pursuant to a controversial legislator pay raise passed in 2007, lawmakers have the ability to receive cost of living increases every fiscal year. Given these increases, a current Alabama legislator makes just under $57,000. The income of an average Alabamian household is about $14,000 less than that, at around $43,000 annually. Legislators can also only meet for official business thirty legislative days, making the daily pay for their part time job about $1,900.

Speaker Hubbard, who has been seriously implicated in an ongoing public corruption investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, has declined the $66 a month raise, doing so – as all legislators must – by notifying the Clerk by letter. Despite this meager “loss,” the Speaker’s official budget has increased this year by $1,000,000.

According to official budget reports from the Legislative Fiscal Office, under the leadership of the Auburn native, the Office of the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives has spent more money every year since his election, more than doubling on average from the previous quadrennium under Democratic Speaker Seth Hammett.

From 2011-2014, Speaker Hubbard’s annual spending has averaged $1,931,811. The four years prior, former Speaker Hammett’s in-office expenses averaged $748,395.

In 2013, the last full year of finalized spending disclosures, the Office of the Speaker spent a whopping $2,257,179, a budget totaling more than that of the Office of the Governor ($1,187,616) and the Alabama Ethics Commission ($1,822,177) this fiscal year.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In addition, since his Storming of the State House in November 2010, Speaker Mike Hubbard has not only been budgeted more money annually, he has broken his budget by at least six figures every year, with his office spending over $900,000 more than allotted in both 2012 and 2013.

The pay increase available to Hubbard and other lawmakers would have been around $792 annually, about $66 a month, a sum which the Speaker has declined.

By contrast, the “raise” received by the Speaker’s office amounts to over $1,000,000 annually, or around $83,000 a month. To put that in perspective, Hubbard’s office is effectively receiving a $66 pay raise every half hour – 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

While Speaker Hubbard did decline the raise, a majority of legislators in his chamber accepted it. In the House of Representatives, 66 lawmakers accepted the increase and 38 declined. In the Senate the majority refused the pay increase, with 21 declining and 14 accepting the $66 a month.

Some legislators who declined the automatic pay raise have criticized those who accepted it, citing the legislature’s failure to give teachers or state employees 2% raises that had been requested by Governor Bentley.

One of those critics is Senator Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, who successfully sponsored legislation that will base lawmaker pay on the median Alabama income mentioned earlier, a little over $40,000.

“I think it’s ridiculous that the legislators took automatic COLA increases while telling state employees and teachers that they couldn’t have a raise,” the Senator said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Below is a list of those who declined the pay raise. All others will automatically receive it.

House of Representatives:

Richard Baughn, R-Lynn
Elaine Beech, D-Chatom
K.L. Brown, R-Jacksonville
Mac Buttram, R-Cullman
Steve Clouse, R-Ozark
Terri Collins, R-Decatur
Randy Davis, R-Daphne
Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood
Allen Farley, R-McCalla
Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville
Alan Harper, R-Newport
Ed Henry, R-Decatur
Steve Hurst, R-Munford
Ken Johnson, R-Moulton
Ron Johnson, R-Sylacauga
Wayne Johnson, R-Ryland
Mike Jones, R-Andalusia
Paul Lee, R-Dothan
Wes Long, R-Guntersville
Thad McClammy, D-Montgomery
Jim McClendon, R-Springville
Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville
John Merrill, R-Tuscaloosa
Barry Moore, R-Enterprise
Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay
Jim Patterson, R-Meridianville
Dimitri Polizos ,R-Montgomery
Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa
Kerry Rich, R-Albertville
Bill Roberts, R-Jasper
David Sessions, R-Grand Bay
Harry Shiver, R-Bay Minette
Mark Tuggle, R-Alexander City
Lesley Vance,R-Phenix City
Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville
April Weaver, R-Alabaster
Dan Williams, R-Athens

Senate:

Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa
Scott Beason, R-Gardendale
Dick Brewbaker , R-Pike Road
Paul Bussman, R-Cullman
Gerald Dial, R-Lineville
Rusty Glover, R-Semmes
Bill Hightower, R-Mobile
Jimmy Holley, R-Elba
Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison
Tammy Irons, D-Florence
Del Marsh, R-Anniston
Shad McGill, R-Scottsboro
Arthur Orr, R-Decatur
Greg Reed, R-Jasper
Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville
Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville
Harri Anne Smith, I-Slocomb
Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville
Cam Ward, R-Alabaster
Tom Whatley, R-Auburn
Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City

Written By

DIG DEEPER

Courts

The was a hearing without notice, a motion without opposition and redactions that could leave the public in the dark.

Featured Opinion

The public deserves to know the names of those who aided Hubbard and those who resisted his entreaties.

Featured Opinion

No matter the costs. No matter the friendships lost. No matter the ethical lines crossed. Mike Hubbard will protect Mike Hubbard.

Courts

The state also said Mike Hubbard, in jail phone calls, repeatedly contradicted his letter to the court in which he took responsibility for his...