Legislators take pay cut

Published 4:36 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

Chilton County’s state legislators are taking a pay cut in an effort to show solidarity with the people they represent.

Both state Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace have filed letters asking for their compensation be cut by 15 percent, which matches the percentage of cuts announced on March 31 for many state departments.

“We needed to show that we’re also willing to make sacrifices,” Ward said.

All state expenses, including legislator pay, comes from the state’s General Fund, with the other fund being reserved specifically for edcuation.

Ward said legislators are compensated at close to $50,000 per year, including salary and reimbursements for hotel rooms and food, among other items.

The move comes on the heels of many legislators declining an automatic pay increase tied to cost of living expenses, based on a bill passed by the Legislature in 2007.

The raise would have been $792 per year, or $66 per month.

Both Ward and Wallace declined the raise.

Wallace said he’s part of a group working on a bill that would tie legislators’ raises to that of other state employees.

If lawmakers voted to give state employees a cost of living raise, then the legislators would also get a raise at the same percent.

“We’re not above or better than anybody else,” Wallace said.