By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter
Many state employees may soon receive a cost-of-living pay raise if a bill passed by the Senate Tuesday is approved by the House and signed by the Governor.
The bill, which received a vote of 28-1 in the Alabama Senate this week, would provide all state employees working for Alabama’s non-education agencies a 3-percent pay raise.
While state employees have received merit pay raises in recent years, this would be the first cost-of-living adjustment since 2008.
The pay increase would begin in October and would affect all state employees. The bumps in pay would cost about $57.3 million next year, according to the bill’s fiscal note.
The pay raise for state employees was one of Gov. Kay Ivey’s key priorities during this legislative session. She proposed the increase in her first State of the State Address in February.
On Tuesday, she commended the Senate for approving the measure.
“We depend on state employees every day – after a decade without a pay increase, it is time we honor their hard work and commitment with a sensible raise,” Ivey said. “State employees are vital to good government and I appreciate the work they do for the people of Alabama each and every day.”
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives where Ivey urged lawmakers to follow the Senate’s lead.
“Whether we’re in government or in private business or any walk of life, our people, the folks who work with us, are very, very important to the success of any organization,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Clyde Chambliss said. “State government is no different. This has been a long time coming.”
The Senate has moved quickly to approve budgets. The body last week approved a $2 billion General Fund Budget, the largest in about a decade. The pay raises were not included in the General Fund Budget, and lawmakers needed a few extra days to iron out a deal.