Pay raise veto overridden: Delegation also votes to eliminate constables

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The majority of Shelby County&8217;s legislators voted against giving themselves a $18,840 pay raise.

Six out of the nine-member Shelby County delegation voted last week to support Gov. Bob Riley&8217;s veto of the 62 percent pay boost.

Representatives Greg Canfield, Mary Sue McClurkin, Cam Ward and Senators Hank Erwin, Steve French and Jabo Waggoner all voted with the governor&8217;s attempts to stop the pay raise.

&8220;My constituents just wouldn&8217;t support an increase that large,&8221; said Ward.

Three representatives, Mike Hill, Jimmy Martin and Jim McClendon, voted to override the veto.

&8220;While that&8217;s a whopper of a raise, some help is needed,&8221; said McClendon, pointing out that

the pay raises will be the first ones since 1991.

The legislation brings the average annual compensation for lawmakers to $49,250. Previously, delegates made around $30,500 each year.

In other local legislative news:

-The Shelby County Legislative Delegation oversaw the unanimous approval of a bill that will eliminate constables after the 2008 elections.

State Rep. Cam Ward said he drafted the proposed legislation to put an end to the &8220;quasi-law enforcement officials&8221; at the request of Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry and local police chiefs.

Last Tuesday, the House voted 44-0 in favor of the bill. The measure now goes before the State Senate for approval.

-Rep. McClendon came up short in his efforts to pass a ban on teen driving, while using a cell phone. After a debate that lasted nearly five hours, the House adjourned without ever voting on the bill. McClendon said he wrote the bill to protect children&8217;s safety and plans to reintroduce the legislation later in the session