Senate approves state employee raise
By KIM CHANDLER
Feb. 27, 2018
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State employees would receive their first cost-of-living raise in a decade under a bill approved Tuesday by the Alabama Senate.
Senators voted 28-1 to approve a 3 percent pay raise for state employees. The bill now goes to the Alabama House of Representatives for debate.
"This is a long time in coming. It's been 10 years since we had a cost-of living adjustment for state employees. That being said, we've had some difficult waters economically between then and now," said Republican Sen. Clyde Chambliss of Prattville.
State employees have not had a cost-of-living increase since 2008. However, they have had merit raises.
Lawmakers this session are also expected to approve a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise for teachers and public education employees. That proposal has cleared the Alabama House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate.
Senators also approved a one-time bonus for retired state and education employees. Retirees would get $1 for every month of service with the state. That measure also now heads to the House of Representatives.
An earlier proposal would have given a $400 bonus. Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville said state had to work with the available money.
"Everything up here is a compromise. I'd like to give everybody $1,000," Dial said.