Holmes turns down legislative pay raise

Published 10:27am Thursday, April 24, 2014

The final installment of a 62 percent pay raise for state legislators is scheduled to take effect in the coming weeks.

But not all of the legislators are accepting the raise which was approved in 2007.

The cost of living pay increase is scheduled to end at the beginning of the next quadrennium, which is the opening of the 2015 session.

An equal number Democrats and Republicans in the House accepted the pay raise.

Among those in the House who reportedly accepted the raise include newly elected House District 31 Rep. Mike Holmes (R-Wetumpka).

But it was not at his request.

A memo was sent out on Feb. 15 to all the legislators inquiring as to whether they would or would not accept the cost of living increase.

“I was in the midst of my two-week grace period where I could not vote but was getting up to speed regarding the office I was just elected to when I scooped up the memo and put in a folder,” Holmes explained on Tuesday to the Herald.

Holmes said the memo noted if it was not returned signed then that legislator automatically received the cost of living increase.

On Tuesday, Holmes met with the payroll clerk and had the pay raise rescinded.

“So I will not receive the cost of living increase,” he said.

Rep. Paul Beckman (R-Prattville) and Sen. Jerry Fielding (R-Talladega) are listed as having accepted the raise.

Sen. Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville), who is not seeking re-election, and Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Pike Road) declined the pay raise.

In 2012 the majority Republican Legislature voted to have a legislator’s pay based on the average median income.

That will mean a large pay cut for all legislators. A legislator typically makes $57,000 a year, while the average median income within the state is just shy of $42,000.

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