Fri May 06 14:22:53 PDT 2016
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Lawmakers seek to freeze salaries of governor's top staff
Ken Curtis

No doubt still peeved after Governor Robert Bentley awarded hefty raises to members of his cabinet, some lawmakers are trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again. A bill will be discussed in committee next week that would freeze salaries of some employees who report to the governor for the remainder of Bentley’s term. Beginning in 2019, they would become classified employees for the purposes of salary increases. Many legislators are irked over raises awarded by Bentley calling them “outrageous”. Four members of Gov. Robert Bentley's cabinet got annual increases of $73,000 near the end of 2015 after the Legislature approved a bill to repeal salary caps. The pay hikes were first reported by Inside Alabama Politics just days before the governor’s affair with a top aide were made public by one cabinet member who got a raise—former ALEA secretary Spencer Collier. He received a $13,000 salary bump, far less than others. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Administrator Mac Gipson, ADECA Director Jim Byard, Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee and Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling received raises of $73,405. The bill seeking to freeze salaries of Bentley cabinet members and some aids was introduced by Rep. Mark Tuggle anc co-sponsored by others.

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