Legislators vote for galling raise: Most county representatives oppose bill to increase salaries

The majority of Shelby County legislators oppose the $18,840-a-year pay raise state lawmakers approved for themselves Thursday.

Six out of the nine-member Shelby County delegation say they are against the 62 percent pay boost.

Representatives Greg Canfield, Mary Sue McClurkin, Cam Ward and Senators Hank Erwin, Steve French and Jabo Waggoner all oppose the raise.

Only two representatives, Mike Hill and Jimmy Martin, support the increase, while Rep. Jim McClendon said he is still undecided.

Last week, both the House and Senate passed legislation that will bring the average annual compensation for lawmakers to $49,250. Currently, delegates make around $30,500 each year.

While the raise doesn&8217;t affect legislator&8217;s $10-a-day salary, it does increase their expense accounts from $2,280 per month to $3,850 per month. Expense accounts are used to buy food and hotel rooms for the three months lawmakers spend in Montgomery.

The pay raise passed both the House and Senate in less than a minute Thursday, on a voice vote with no record of who voted for or against it.

Erwin (R-Montevallo) called the raise &8220;a bold, galling and blantant robbery&8221; because Republican requests for a roll-call vote were ignored by Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom. &8220;We were in shock and rage,&8221; said Erwin, &8220;We played by the rules and were thumbed in the face.&8221;

However, Hill said the pay increases are needed, which will be the first in 18 years.

&8220;I wish the pay resolution had been a little less,&8221; said Hill. &8220;But right now, unless you are independently wealthy, very few people will be able to serve.&8221;

Gov. Bob Riley has promised to veto the legislation by March 20