Updated: Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012, 7:10 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012, 10:46 AM CDT
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Amendment 8, which will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, would remove a 61 percent pay raise Alabama lawmakers gave themselves back in 2007.
State Rep Stephen McMillan wants to see the amendment pass, despite the fact that it would mean a loss in pay for him.
“At this point, we don't know how much because we don't know the expenses we'll be reimbursed for at the same amount as state employees,” State Rep. Stephen McMillan said.
Mobile-based State Rep. Rusty Glover estimates his pay would be reduced by $6,000.
The amendment proposes that lawmakers pay be tied to the state median income level, which is about $42,000. That’s $10,000 less than the national median income. It would also prevent legislators from giving themselves raises.
Some people have suggested making deeper cuts to legislators pay, but state rep Stephen McMillan said that would likely prevent many from entering politics.
“I think the amendment is a little confusing, it appears that legislative pay will go down to household income, but for some legislators the pay may actually increase,” said State Rep. Napoleon Bracy, Jr.
Bracy said the farther a legislator lives from Montgomery, the more they could be reimbursed for travel. Legislators work in Montgomery about 50 days a year, but work in their respective districts year round.
“As far as hotel expenses and travel expense it would be a reimbursement process compared to now where you would get a small per diem,” said Bracy.
The amendment says legislators living within 50 miles of Montgomery will not be reimbursed for travel.
All others will be reimbursed for travel outside of their district and actual expenses incurred while performing official duties. Bracy and Glover said they put in at least 40-hours-per-week, year-round.
Bracy said, “We work for the citizens, this should not be our primary source of income. Regardless, of what the pay is, we have a commitment to our district and the citizens in the state of Alabama.”