Lawmakers disagree over possible salary cuts

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (WBRC) - Alabama lawmakers are divided over how to share the pain during tough economic times. Currently there are two competing plans in the state senate.

Lineville Senator Gerald Dail is calling for rolling back an almost $20,000 pay raise from four years ago. Huntsville Senator Paul Sanford is calling for prorating lawmakers' salaries starting next year if budgets are cut. Dail says if he can get his resolution up for debate it should pass.

"They are supporting the concept that legislators should take hits like every one else. The pay raise needs to be rescinded," Dail said.

But this week an apparent majority of the state senate seems to favor Sanford's plan. "I thought this was a way for legislators to have a little more incentive to be a little more cautious when they make the budgets." Sanford said.

Some taxpayers side with the lawmakers.

"I think a reduction needs to be more equitable than what they are proposing, than just legislators. I think it needs to be fair across the board," Sally Whitley said.

But others say give back the pay raise.

"Everybody should share the pain. The country is messed up right now. I don't know why some people shouldn't share the pain and other people live like they have been living," James Dailey said.

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